India, the world’s largest functioning democracy, seems to be under a severe threat. The threat, one might initially be inclined to think, is only from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, this would be a gross underestimation of another grave threat to Indian democracy: the Indian corporate media, generally speaking, and TV news channels more specifically.
One might find it ironic that the sword arm of democracy, the very watchdog that protects the public interest is in itself a grave threat to democracy, but in present-day India, this is the bitter truth. Ordinary people may think that free, fair and fearless media are a prerequisite of democracy, and that the Indian media have been true to the democratic onus thrust upon it, but the opposite is true.
In fact, they are consistent cheerleaders of Modi’s communal agenda and always the first to jump wholeheartedly on to every anti-minority, anti-leftist, anti-human-rights, anti-dissent, and anti-opposition bandwagon. They have consistently succeeded in covering up Modi’s failures, weaknesses and wrongdoings.