Why is mainstream media blacking out Arivnd Kejriwal and Medha Patkar?

 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was hardly in the news lately for his protest against the inflated power and water bills in Delhi. His fortnight long fast was staged against the Sheila Dixit led Delhi government, but lacked much coverage from major premier print or television channels across the country for reasons undefined, unlike in the past. However, Kejriwal was still fortunate enough to earn some reporting for his remonstration but Medha Patkar a well known social activist received complete disregard from the country’s news media. Arvind Kejriwal

Very few are aware that Patkar was on a hunger strike to protest against the ongoing slum demolitions in Mumbai and ended the ten day long fast on 13th April, 2013.

It was only after a positive nod from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Urban Housing Minister Ajay Maken that all ongoing slum demolitions would be stalled till investigation into the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) was fulfilled.

She vociferously demanded that the residents of one of the 46 societies in Golibar slums in the city be allowed to re-develop their own property on their own and the work should not be transferred to the private firm Shivalik Ventures (closely related to Unitech).

Medha PathkarMost importantly, both the developments in the past few weeks raise some serious questions that need to be answered at the earliest.

The first time India media bravely reported an anti-establishment protest was during Jai Prakash Narayan Movement. Print media (only source of news accessibility to the public of the time) reported audaciously despite facing some serious bullying from the incumbent government.

Thereafter, social activist Anna Hazare’s agitation against the systemic corruption (Jan Lokpal Movement) at Jantar Mantar in Delhi in 2011 received widespread coverage too.

Nevertheless, that was the last time that protests which were anti-establishment in nature received extensive space in media.

However, the second demonstration by the same social activist received dwindled coverage from digital media though print still offered him reasonable exposure but not much in contrast to the previous time.

The latest hunger strikes by Arvind Kejriwal and Medha Patkar were not visible anywhere on digital or print space, their causes only earned isolated space in a few newspapers.

Serious doubts about the near blackout of Kejriwal and Patkar protests by the media may be a result of constant but undeclared pressure from the I&B ministry headed by Manish Tiwari or something else lies underneath?

Corporates offer sizable chunk of funds in form of sponsorship and advertisements to the news channels. Therefore, upsetting them is surely an imprudent decision for the news providers of the country.

In this regard, Kejriwal was dealing with Delhi government and power distribution majors like Tata and Reliance, while Medha Patkar was busy fighting real estate majors like Unitech and the local administration.

What many believe is that impartial reporting and tackling serious issues confronting the nation are mostly overlooked today even as media barons are seen cozying upto corporate houses or lining up for political patronage, elsewhere.

It is time for the media to break out of such mindsets and report boldly the ground realties confronting the country to justly fulfill its role for spreading awareness among its citizens.

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

12 Comments

  • Baba Ramdev in October 2010 gathered around a lakh people in Ramlila grounds and Anna was introduced to Delhi by him. The entire media blacked him out. Because Baba Ramdev was attracting huge crowds, the propped up Anna and Kejriwal through full coverage of their protest and created a larger than life size image in Anna and Kejriwal and inflated their ego. Then came the ego clash between Anna and Kejriwal that ended in their split. So it was a conscious effort of the media to weaken their movement which did have enough popular support albeit in Delhi. They are not field players unlike Baba who has created a strong followers by imparting them yoga and motivating them to work for our country, this was evident in the gathering during the protest on August 9 2012. Thousands of his followers went to the makeshift jail along with Baba. Followers were willing to undergo the hardship for the country. But Arvind Kejriwal, though is fighting for good cause, does no have huge following.

    Media after achieving their goal of weakening their movement dropped them vertically and they no longer project them bcoz they are no longer a force now.

  • It is not just the billing on advertisement, it is also BEA(Bureau of Editors Association)is brokering the deals with corrupt politicians, Journalism Awards committee.

    After all Who does not want Padmashri etc…

  • You are very right, Baba Ramdev only gets negative publicity from media under fear from the ruling dispensation. However, Baba has built over the years a formidable network for his organization that media does not matter. Kejriwal never wanted Anna and Baba to come closer. He used Anna Ji and dumped him still using his name to build his political fortune. His intentions may be good but he is a man in hurry. Apart from Bhushan father son duo no well known persons are in his team. He will only help by cutting BJP votes.

  • India is a farce democracy and always will be,
    Parties that dominate local political life are fiefdoms, which are literally handed down from father to son. Pre- independence, British policy of divide and rule was cunningly adopted by the mainstream political parties, bringing forever a vote bank politics on religion and caste.
    The dictatorial, party high command style of influencing the elected representatives ensured that fate of the country remained under firm control of permanent few. With the ruling and the toothless opposition, just about waiting for their license to loot every 5 years with like minded corporate cronies and money powered criminals, India will forever bleed.
    From preventing any change in this shambolic system, judiciary has been purposely made inept; media has been controlled and central bureau of investigation office used as tool for power wielding ruling parties.
    With goons in lok sabha, semi-retired film stars in rajya sabha, India is certainly heading for a disaster, if not already.

    This is when a politician like Kejriwal and a party like AAP, becomes the need of the hour. The ever expanding support base of AAP indicates that India is well and truly on course of a revolution. After 65 years if India is still known as a third world country, the upcoming generation would not take this lightly, never again.

  • Politics of the country will be changed and that is by AAP ,not arvind kejriwal.he is only a medium and nothing else,i used to be a supporter of Baba ramdev when he was doing yoga but in the name of swadeshi he becomes a videshi by doing business,so i abandoned him for his fake ideology .there is nobody who can be a follower of certain person but it changes as per one’s ideology,i have invested in reliance and tata steel shares but still i prefer these two companies should do business legally what AK tells.as per media it is of no use unless it has got impartial credibility.u see when AAP comes to power in delhi everybody will speak that they have contributed a lot in their winning.afterall AAP is for common man and a common man hs every right to rejoice for his vicory.

  • ये डरपोक और पेड मीडिया है और ये अपनी साख कांग्रेस बीजेपी की तरह खो चूका है।

  • In the eyes of Indian Media,there are some sacred cows,who should not be touched by any agitator.Anna’s movement or even J.P.’s movement did not touch those cows. No specific information was circulated through these two FAMOUS MOVEMENTS REGARDING ANY INDUSTRIALIST OF REPUTE.Kejriwal crossed this Laxman Rekha in supplying specific information on Ambani’s Swiss Bank Accounts and was completely blacked out of print Media and television.So far as Medha Patker is concerned her fast was directly affecting builder Mafias or may be Main media didn’t think about its news value.

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