Indian Corruption

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Indian Media's Corruption

India's feisty media claim to be the main guardians of national democracy, but a scandal involving high-profile journalists and telephone taps has given the country its own WikiLeaks-style controversy. Rajat Sharma, editor-in-chief of India TV and host of TV show 'Aap Ki Adalat' had invited several great personalities including Baba Ramdev, Yuvraj Singh, Shahrukh Khan, and Rakhi Sawant among others to talk about the plague of corruption in India and its consequences on our society.

Till date he has been able to rope in many famous celebrities which in turn has proven beneficial for the show. "Lots of celebrities approached me with requests to be guests on my show," added Sharma. Speaking about the recent hunger strikes by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, Sharma said that such incidents indicate at the failure on the part of our government in curbing corruption in the country and that's the reason why people like Hazare and Ramdev have to take such paths. "However it is important to note that corruption cannot be eradicated from roots by holding strikes like these but at least such activities convey what the citizens demand from the government. Also the media does its duty of curbing corruption by exposing corruption scams," Sharma said.

The Role Media has played in the society

The role or the job of Indian Media is to keep the citizens informed about the happenings in the country and around the world and make them knowledgeable and powerful. No matter there are good things about media but even we find bad things about it like the reports or the editors getting involved with politicians and spreading wrong information to public. So the media is also under the scanner itself. Corruption definitely exists in media but who will curb it and keep a check on it, as the media is said to be the voice and the watchdog of the society as a whole. A self regulatory body is being created for which the process has already begun. Also Media need to be responsible for the deeds and thus shall not allow such activities to happen. About the serious view of some TV channels airing interviews of terrorists, the government issued a fresh advisory to the electronic media to exercise caution while covering incidents of terror attacks.

Certain directives were issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on November 27, 2008 and December 3, 2008, regarding the coverage of incidents by electronic media during terrorist attacks in Mumbai. In the said directive, TV channels were actually asked to exercise caution while providing coverage to the incidents to avoid any adverse consequences on the rescue operations. It said "... in the past as some of the TV channels have arranged and telecast interviews with terrorists/terrorist groups. In a particular case, a prominent TV channel telecast a phone interview with a dreaded terrorist who tried to internationalize the Kashmir issue using the electronic mass media. This kind of coverage could cause confusion among domestic and international audiences."

media corruption in India
In this scenario,such undue coverage to terrorists and allowing them to air their views freely can jeopardize the national security as well. This matter has been under examination in the I&B ministry and in the Ministry of Home Affairs and government has taken a very serious view regarding airing of interviews with terrorists/terrorist groups by TV channels.

While the media has generally played a constructive role in bringing out relevant issues regarding terrorism and has condemned terrorists for their brutal and ruthless ways, it must, however, be again emphasized that media must continue to cover terrorism and terrorist-related issues with great responsibility and sensitivity. The Indian government should take a stand in the telecom spectrum scam, Ratan Tata, one of India's most influential businessmen, told a television channel, referring to the scandal that has paralyzed the Indian parliament.

Another Story

At the centre of the storm is India's best-known television journalist, Barkha Dutt, who is accused of acting as a power broker in negotiations involving big businesses and the government over allocation of cabinet seats.

Tapes recorded by the police have emerged as part of a major row over the cut-rate sale of mobile phone licences in 2007-2008 which is estimated to have cost the treasury as much as 40 billion dollars in lost revenues. Transcripts of the 104 tapes, many of which have been printed by two news magazines, have brought question marks over the reputations of Dutt, veteran newspaper columnist Vir Sanghvi and other big media names. The tapes are a treasure trove for close followers of New Delhi's interwoven media, business and political scenes. A number of them, which record the conversations of about 30 journalists, date back to 2009 when the re-elected Congress party was patching together its current coalition government. Dutt and Sanghvi are being heard in separate conversations discussing who should be in the cabinet with influential lobbyist Niira Radia, who was pushing for A. Raja, a south Indian regional politician, to be reinstated as a minister. As telecom minister before the election, Raja had supervised the sale of the lucrative 2G phone licences at knock-down prices � which is now emerging as potentially one of the biggest corruption cases in Indian history. Radia worked as a lobbyist for two of India's biggest industrialists: Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, and Ratan Tata, whose conglomerate's interests include phone operator Tata Teleservices.

Since the leaks, Tata has gone to court to try to stop any further dissemination of the tapes, saying disclosure of Radia's "purely personal" telephone conversations with him violated his right to privacy. Critics have accused Dutt and Sanghvi of acting like deal-makers rather than journalists in their chummy conversations with Radia about the cabinet's makeup. Raja was again reappointed as telecom minister despite controversy over the 2G telecoms sale. He has since resigned, but denies any wrongdoing.

"What they seem to have done is fall into the trap that beguiles well-known journalists, of thinking that they are important players rather than observers on behalf of their readers and viewers," commented Indian publisher T.N. Ninan. Both Dutt and Sanghvi have denied any improper dealings with Radia or that they acted as go-betweens for her and the Congress party.

Dutt, who is famous for her combative interviewing style on the NDTV news channel, has for once found herself on the defensive. The telecoms scandal has led to paralysis in Parliament as the opposition had blocked all business for weeks demanding a cross-party investigation.

The erst-while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who normally manages to stand aloof from India's political fray, was also drawn into the controversy after he was asked to explain his "alleged inaction" over the licence sales by the Supreme Court.

How ever Indian media was never impartial and unbiased. However, Media's biasness towards corporate houses and media persons acting as the lobbyist for corporate sectors in the corridors of power and brokers of secret deals among different corporate groups started in the early eighties. Ramnath Goenka of the Indian Express can be safely called as the father of this trend. The way he handled Nusli Wadia-Dhirubhai Ambai tussle and started anti-Ambani Campaign was the first eye-catching example of media's role in corporate politics and lobby.

Significance of the role of India's media

In its reporting about today is the opinion of most of the people who support cause of the Anna Hazzare's. News channels have been running wall to wall coverage of the protests of Anna Hazare's drive to introduce stronger anti-corruption laws at Delhi's Ramlila ground and other Indian cities , prompting a debate as whether Mr Hazare's "movement" has become a media circus.

Such thing raise the question as to whether the TV people or the Media attending the protests really represent the views of more than a billion Indians. Then many argue that the sections of the media � TV and print � have openly sided with Mr Hazare's agitation and that the neutrality of the media has been seriously compromised. Unquestionably it is the truth that the agitation is a made-for-media event: a people's protest at the expansive Ramlila ground in Delhi, attended by men and women � young and old � from all walks of life. It is a colourful microcosm of a restless, angry India. But many of the people feel that the media coverage of Mr Hazare's agitation had reached saturation levels.

The editor of India's Mail Today newspaper seems to have a kind of sympathy with this view � arguing that the news channels had "gone overboard" in their coverage. "The coverage needs to be balanced," Bharat Bhushan said. But people like Rahul Kanwal, editor of the Headlines Today news channel, believe the media is merely capturing a massive movement against graft. "The Indian media believes that this is a campaign which is connecting with the audiences. So it is been simply capturing and reflecting the anger of people coming out on the streets," he said. Analyst Pushpesh Pant agreed that the media has done a good job.

Evolution of Indian media-biasness and corruption: As far as biasness is concerned, the Indian media is a biased one from the day of its inception. For instance the first phase of evolution that is pre-independence Era. Most of the Indian newspapers were beeing engaged only in propagating the misrule of British government. It was biasness for majorly the freedom struggle that was need of the hour. This phase was very much completely free from corruption. Second evolution started in Indian media scenario which was during the Emergency. Biasness of Indian media was crystal clear at that time. One group of media which succumbed to the government machinery and supported mainly emergency while only a very few opposed it with lots of pain and scars. Corruption started entering Indian media scenario in such a crucial phase. However, fear was the major factor for biasness of majority of Indian media houses in that period.

The third evolution of Indian media started with the very much astonishing "Tehlka". For the first time, sting operation was being operated. Then it became a potential but cheap weapon for politicians/ people in corridor of power to basically ruin their rival's career through this. Several sting operations could not prove their trusted credibility and it simply signifies planted and planned conspiracy against a person for a very much intended outcome. Fourth and the most vital evolution came along after the popularity of 24X7 news channels. The hunger for news became so voracious that creating news became the only option to retain the job of a journalist. Hence, biasness and corruption got very much easy opportunity to play their role. Along with, 24X7 channels turned newspapers to views papers. And, as a thumb rule views are biased whatever may be the extent of biasness.

The national media tycoon is mainly the business men. Hence, biasness towards a particular government/opposition is very much obvious in India. Now come to the regional newspaper scenario. For instance two states of Tamilnadu and Odisha. In Tamilnadu, both the most popular TV channels and news papers are under the control of two key opponents- Mr. Karunanidhi and Ms. Jayalalita. Can any rational person expect very much unbiased news From Jaya TV on Mr. Karunandidhi and also vice versa. In Odisha, the owners of all 5 leading newspapers and TV channels are either sitting mostly the MPs or ex MPs. Can they write against any wrong policy of their political boss at the stake of their career, the answer here lies very much stringent and strict "no".

To change the scenario, online media and blogging had flourished in India. It is the only way to save Indian media from biasness and also corruption. Sections of the media in India have willy-nilly become the participants and players in practices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics, which undermines most of the democratic processes and norms- while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground, says the report which was released by the Press Council of India. The Press Council of India once suppressed report on which many indicted publishers and broadcasters of taking money for usually reporting on state assembly elections in 2004 and 2009; praising one candidate while maligning and discouraging the others, which made a significant effect on the voting results which were finally out. The recommendation of the Press Council report were withheld from the public until an right to information (RTI) application from journalist Manu Moudgil forced the Press Council to come out with all the relevant details by 10 October 2011 and also after an order from the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). The report says, "It is widely believed that many media companies, mostly irrespective of the volume of their businesses and their profitability, were 'selling' news space after arriving at an 'understanding' with politicians and representatives of corporate entities that were advertisers. Space in publications and airtime were occupied by advertisements that were disguised as 'news'."

After the 'paid news' scandal which surfaced, the Press Council, on 3 June 2009, under Justice GN Ray set up a subcommittee to inquire into the racket. The committee comprising Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, senior journalist, and Sreenivas Reddy, produced very much explosive 71-page report which clearly mentioned the names of the personalities who were been involved in this racket a shocking and bewildering incident of unprecedented proportions, a prominent Indian politician has accepted all charges and allegations leveled against him by anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, confounding both the feisty anti-graft crusader and media in the process.

This web page explains the corruptions that occured in India. The information are collected from the media reports. or it owners do not take any responsibility for the authenticity of the contents. Since some cases are in the court of law, we do not endorse any cases or do not conclude on the same. If you need any changes to be done on the above information, kindly contact us with valid proof. However sincere attempt is being made to create awareness in the society against this evil and to prepare the younger generation for a corruption free India.