Freedom of press-Use or Abuse

Media is said to be a very powerful medium. Its often dubbed as the fourth pillar of democracy. Any democratic country would have a powerful and free media to keep the citizens informed

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and keep the government on toes. And for this to happen, press freedom is necessary.

But sometimes this freedom is abused for personal gains. A small matter is hyped so much and when caught media goes mute. We can call it hit and run of a type. There have been many hit and runs in recent time.
Lets discuss a few of them.

1. Modi wears a 10 lac suit- This was seen to be the biggest dent on the image of Prime Minister Modi. The news suddenly broke out when PM was hosting President Obama for republic day. All news channels reported this news. The opposition came out all guns blazing. PM was criticized for his aristocratic attitude. Media reported it this way.

But later the truth came out  and was known that this was a suit gifted to PM Modi and its original cost was around  rs.10000. And the media went silent on this. Truth about this can be known from here

2.Recent meat ban controversy – Recently a news hit the media that the Maharashtra government has banned meat for 4 days during the jain festival of Paryushan. A media report on this can be seen here. Media hit out at the government terming this as imposition of hindutva agenda of the RSS. But the truth was something else. The ban actually was in place since 2004. Here is the whole truth.

This is just a tip of the iceberg. There have been many such incidents in the past too. Media jumps to guns too fast and somewhere in between the real news goes unreported.

India’s UNSC bid- Hurdles ahead

There is a huge hype over Prime Minister Modi’s UNSC push when he speaks at UNGA in a few days. The UN General Assembly recently adopted a resolution to initiate talks for reforms in UNSC for greater participation of emerging  powers ( read G-4). Everyone is hailing this as a diplomatic win for India. Yes it is in a way. But the road ahead is not as rosy as it appears. There are several hurdles in India’s way to UNSC.

1. China- The fact that Sino-Indian relations are not going through best of times is a well known one. From confrontations at the LAC to diplomatic leg pulling, the relations have seen all. Even in the recent vote to take up UNSC reforms, China voted against India. Any reform of the Security Council would require the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states, and that of all the permanent members of the UNSC enjoying the veto right. China is one of the five.So India cannot go forward without China.

2.Question of how to expand-  The question of expansion itself has to be settled first. There are two options on the table. India and its G-4 allies support option A which provides for the addition of six permanent and three non-permanent members to the existing 15. But their opponents like Pakistan, Italy and South Korea-who form the coffee club-are pitching for option B that has six members on a non-permanent basis.

3. The G4 diplomacy- There are many countries which support Indian bid but dislike one or the other G4 nation. This too may hamper India’s chances.

All in all there are many hurdles in front of India in its bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC. How PM Modi handles it remains to be seen.