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Waning ethics of the media


One of the basic ethical principles of the media is “to tell the truth” and not to mislead people by lies and half truths. Knowing that media today is the most powerful agent in the formation of human reason and conscience and a shaper of human behaviour, it is all the more important to safeguard the above principle at all cost. Media persons have a great responsibility not merely to inform but also to form character. Perhaps it is not wrong to affirm that the media has usurped the role of parents and teachers today. The invasion of media of all sorts both in our private and public forum is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Someone has rightly said that the media has invaded even our bedrooms. The all pervasiveness of media is an accepted fact today. What is however troubling us is not the presence of the media in our life, but the waning ethics that we see in it. What we witness in India now is the unethical conduct of the media in the manner the events are reported. Most of the media channels we have, are patronized by politicians or one political party or the other. Consequently, the media channels tend to project only what is favourable to the party or parties.

For example, the issue of demonetization has been projected as a success story all the way. But facts have shown that the negative impact has been devastating not only on the national economy but on individual entrepreneurs as well. The assessment made by Forbes Magazine clearly shows that everything that the media projects about demonetization is far from the truth. The media is trying to convince the public today that the BJP government is the best government and Mr. Modi is the most ideal PM so far. This is how the media is fooling the public and taking the citizens for a ride. If media ethics is on the decline then we can imagine the damage it is doing to people especially the masses of illiterate persons in the country. It is time to lose faith in the media in its present avatar. I for one, have stopped watching many of the national news channels. How many uncritical viewers are being bombarded with these lies and half truths and it looks like the whole nation is being nourished by false hope and empty promises. When will our media be liberated from such deviations? I hope that educated Indians will become more critical about what they read and watch in the media and not be led by the nose by such banal presentations.

Yours etc.,

Barnes Mawrie sdb,

Via email


On freedom of speech 


On the censoring Suman Ghosh’s documentary, Ratan Bhattacharjee in his article, “The clear stream of reason has lost its way,” (ST, July 14, 2017) rightly points out that no one will ever be able to gag the voice of argumentative Amartya Sen, the icon of Indian Hinduism which embraces a secular world vision. However, the censor board’s action is an attempt to mute our Fundamental Right “to freedom of speech and expression” which is guaranteed in Article 19 (a) of our Constitution. Freedom of expression is central to democracy and we must resist any attempt to bring back the days of Emergency that India had to suffer four decades ago. We need to remember what George Washington had once said, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter house.”

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,



Chinese threat to North East


India and China have disputes over sovereignty of the 4,057 kilometre border. But Sikkim is the only state in India which has demarcated borders with China based on 1898 treaty. After a referendum in 1975, Sikkim voted to merge with the Union of India. The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the mountains terrain of the Tibetan Autonomous Region has taken place from Nathula Pass since 2015. It is a 1500 KM long bus journey. The other older route Lipulekh Pass is there to trek through rough terrains of Uttarakhand, Nepal and Tibet. The abode of Lord Shiva is believed to be there.

Recently, China forcefully entered into the 89 square km  Doklam Plateau; it is Doka La for India and Donglang for China. The unmarked disputed border of China and Bhutan is strategically important to Chumbi valley at the intersection of India-China-Bhutan. Bhutan army protested that the construction of the road violated a bilateral agreement and raised an SOS. The tri-junction is just 20 KM away from Brigade HQ. The specialized mountain force ITBP marched ahead and have been locked in a standoff with PLA for a month. Indian Army displayed utmost restraint. In retaliation for the alleged Indian Army’s action, Beijing blocked the entry of Indian pilgrims. Chinese refusal to allow the pilgrimage has frustrated a large number of pilgrims from Hindus to Buddhists and Jains. Interestingly both the sides 33 Corps HQ and 141 PLA Division are accusing the other of territorial intrusions and illegal troop encroachment.

China does it often to gain strategic edge over monitoring movement along the international border. Their game plan is to conduct military maneuvers aimed at blocking the Siliguri corridor (chicken neck) the narrow stretch of land that connects India’s seven north eastern states. Both the countries even exchanged war of words over escalating border dispute. India’s presence in Bhutan has irritated China, where they have no diplomatic relation with Bhutan. The construction of a road near the tri-junction would cause serious security implications for India and the Chinese have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Is North east now in real danger of possible military conflict after Chinese strategic calculus? Delhi and Beijing have been at loggerheads over the situation. Will China safeguard its borders’ sovereignty even at the cost of war? China and India should help each other to bring hope for the depressed world economy and illuminate the world. Also India should keep an eye out for further Chinese transgressions in the future.

Yours etc.,

Kamal Baruah,



Air India cuts cost


Air India has further stepped up its cost-cutting measures by not serving non-vegetarian food in its domestic flights, after earlier it announced that salad would be discontinued from economy class, international flights. Since all airlines except Jet Airways and Air India have discontinued serving free food on their domestic flights, it should also follow those private airlines in further cost-cutting. It can even follow Indian Railways by charging cost of earphones from passengers desiring to use TV-screens on seat-backs in domestic flights of Air India.

However, it is senseless of Air India to expect passengers to share the in-flight magazine by keeping only one of them to be shared by three passengers. If the cost of the magazine is recovered through sponsorships and advertisements, each passenger should be given one copy. It is senseless to argue that reducing the number of copies of magazines can appreciably cut down the weight of the flight. It may be mentioned that all other domestic airlines are still continuing with separate copies of in-flight magazine for individual passengers.

 Yours etc.,

Madhu Agrawal,

 (Guinness Record holder for letters in newspapers)

Delhi – 6


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