Communication & Media Studies

Rein in the TV debates

Rein in the TV debates
Image Source – Twitter/Nupur Sharma

There is dire need to rein in the media before we reach a point of no return in condemning public life, says the author.


Jagdish Batra, Professor and Additional Director, English Language Centre, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


The action against the two BJP functionaries accused of mouthing inanities against the Prophet has come after it evoked reaction within the country and abroad.

In the process, it not only eroded Muslims’ trust in the BJP, but also severely dented Indian image in some Middle East countries where, of late, with great effort, the Modi government had been able to change perception of India for the better.

Come to analyze the incident, it appears as much the result of overzealous young politicians as of the sensation-seeking electronic media.

For quite some time, it has been evident as daylight that the kind of vitriolic debates that are happening on the television screens are creating unnecessary bad blood between communities.

It should have been tackled in time, but it seems the government did not take it seriously, mostly because the issues involved like Kashmir or demolition of illegal encroachments seemed to have an element of fairness about them.

But the issue of temples involves religious sentiments and requires a different approach. RSS chief’s recent advice too went unheeded.

The ball once set in motion has been gathering mass and now, it seems, unless checked forthwith, there is every danger of the nation having to pay a heavy price for a lackadaisical approach. It is like inching towards a precipice.

Our politicians are known for their unscrupulous and highly self-serving pronouncements without caring for decency, professional ethics or moral codes. Unfortunately, these are the ones whose unguarded remarks get highlighted.

On the other hand, serious journalism seems a berated quality on electronic media even as the print media still swears by it. When media in our times espouses wayward comments, a molehill gets transformed into a mountain.

Published in: The Times of India

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