Media’s Role in India

By Amanda Slemaker

            India is a country very unique in comparison to many others due to their media’s role on both society and the government. There are many countries such as the U.S. that have the unfortunate bias of the media toward the government. Media in many countries is run by bribery and powerful elites, which leads to falsified information being given to the public. This sad reality makes India look almost one-of-a-kind due to the fact their media holds quite the opposite role.

What makes India so fascinating is the fact that their government and media really does run on a democratic mindset unlike many other countries. Not only does the media provide information for the entire country, but it acts as a check on the government. They fulfill the role of monitoring the government and exposing their wrongdoings to the entire country to ensure equality and the running of an anti-corrupt government. The lack of this governmental control is largely due to the emergence of their capitalist economy which emerged in the 1990’s. The governmental controls were largely stripped away and allowed for the media to become more privatized and play the crucial role that they have now. Due to technological advances, the media is playing an even more critical role for society due to the fact that it is so accessible now. The media can be viewed on the internet, magazines, newspapers and on TV. It is rather difficult to not be affected by the media in one way or another. While the media keeps the governmental system in check, they also play a key role in social movements.

In terms of social movements, it can be said that movements need the media in order to gain momentum and spread the word at a much quicker rate. Movements typically need the media for three main purposes: standing, framing and sympathy. Media is essential in order for a movement to be relevant to society, to explain the issues at hand in the particular movement, and lastly in order to gain sympathy from the public. With this in mind, it can also be safe to say that the media needs these movements as well. Without these movements, they would have nothing to report on. In addition to the media’s role with social movements, the media plays a key role in bringing the diversified people of India together. Without the media, India’s people would have a much more difficult time relaying information to each other, especially in terms of the language barriers that they face. Luckily for the media, the people can come together for movements and issues that affect all of the Indian people in some form or fashion.

India in all its glory has done a phenomenal job thus far running a democratic society and government, and this has been the case largely due to the role of the media. Media has kept Indian citizens unified and informed, while also keeping the government in check. The fact that the citizens have a huge access to all forms of media makes this all much easier. Although society and its movements rely largely on the media, media could not have the influence or the power if it weren’t for these social movements and India’s citizens. As a result, India has continued to be successful in bringing pressing issues forward that affect its citizens.