Friday, May 8, 2015

Public trial of media, is not a solution Mr. Kejriwal.

In one of his recent interviews Delhi Chief minister and AAP leader Mr. Arvind Kejriwal who doesn't seem to be very happy with the negative media coverage his party and some of its top leaders are receiving now a days advocated about conducting a public trial of media. One can interpret this statement in various ways, his supporters will obviously justify this statement and point out to some channels who are clearly hostile towards this party whereas opponents of AAP will question this statement and even call it a hippocratic stance because it is coming from a party which is largely perceived as a creation of media. There is no doubt that media gave disproportional coverage to AAP and its leaders, specially to Mr. Kejriwal in the beginning. May be this was because of novelty aspect associated with approach of AAP towards Indian politics and the issues they raised with very aggressive  approach. That time most of media was perceived as AAP's friend and other political parties were complaining about unfair attention to AAP. Because of some recent happenings in AAP in spite of their emphatic win in Delhi assembly elections they are getting lot of negative press and now many people are saying that it is not much different than many other political parties, this has resulted in very hostile attitude towards media from many AAP leaders. It is now no secret that after becoming CM of Delhi Mr. Kejriwal doesn't like public scrutiny or any criticism about himself or his party from any quarters of his own party or from media.

So what is wrong with advocating a public trial of media (or for that matter public trial of anyone)? We all know that mob mentality or public trials are dangerous as they are not based on facts and evidences but are based on perceptions. These perceptions can be right or wrong and it is very difficult to control them. That is why we have courts and judiciary so that there can be unbiased and fair justice system. Even this system many times fails to live up to its expectations, most of us will agree that we can not depend on conscious of public to deliver justice in criminal or other cases. If public trial becomes a norm then people with large fan following will never be convicted as there will be always huge section of public which will support their idol no matter what she or he does. Does Mr. Kejriwal want to go back to this stone age justice system? Is he trying to incite people to take law in their own hands and deliver judgement based on their own opinions and perceptions rather than going to courts to get justice? I fail to understand what does he even mean by public trial of media and how he wants to conduct it? There is no doubt that media has its own issues and problems. There are many questions about transparency, conflict of interest and accountability which various media housed need to answer, but definitely public trial is not the solution to resolve any of these issues. Let's also be clear that he was not talking about public debate and discussion, these things go on all the time in any vibrant democracy, they are necessary but public trial which he is recommending is something altogether different.

It is also clearly evident that politicians are more media friendly when they are in opposition but the time they get in power they start seeing media as a hostile opponent and nuisance. Same questions which they love to raise and ask when in opposition or during agitation against government, they try to avoid once they come into power. This was not expected from Mr. Kejriwal and his party as they claimed to be different and also claimed that they are in politics to change the way it functions but it seems that the politics changed him and his party. I hope he was not serious when he talked about public trial of media, role of media is very important in any democracy. Questions about media's accountability and transparency should be raised, media can not run away from these questions. I hope Mr. Kejriwal will raise some relevant questions rather than being in a hurry to deliver verdict against media.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

No comments:

Post a Comment