Exclusionist Indian Media
He observes Media in India is highly caste-corrupt, infested with ugly caste virus wherein the top positions as a rule are enjoyed by caste Hindus who keep on plastering Indian minds, setting reverse direction for civil society by claiming ‘THERE IS NO CASTE HERE’. He says its an Exclusionist Media , singular feature of India, nowhere else in world. Palagummi Sainath (born 1957), the 2007 winner of the Ramon Magsaysay award for journalism, literature, and creative communication arts, is an award winning Indian development journalist – photojournalist focusing on social problems, rural affairs, poverty and the aftermaths of globalization in India. He spends between 270 and 300 days a year in the rural interior (in 2006, over 300 days) and has done so for the past 14 years. He is the Rural Affairs Editor for The Hindu, and contributes his columns to India Together, where they are archived. His work has won praise from the likes of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who referred him as “one of the world’s great experts on famine and hunger”. Let’s see what he writes in his personal communiqué borrowed from Indian Buddhist Circle (e-group/forum)
I write to endorse you appeal, aims and objectives. I concur with the letters wriiten by Ram and Sashi Kumar as well. More so because, as I said in both my convocation address at the ACJ 2007 and speech at the Editor’s Guild 2008, the media remain by far the most exclusionist institution of Indian democracy. Almost every measure or indicator we can apply would confirm this.
Dalits have made it to President of India, Chief Justice of India, Speaker of Parliament, you name it. But rarely do they go past chief sub in the press and, in television, are almost totally invisible.This has obvious and vital implications for media content and attitudes. As a member of the Executive Council of a premier university, I have unhappily been learning how entrenched caste prejduice is even in high academia.
Yet, at least there, we have had heated, even acrimonious debates on the matter. Within the media no such debate exists. The issue is rarely if ever even identified as a problem.
With the media playing so powerful a role in discussing or even setting national agendas and drumming up support for many regressive policies, the absence of Dalits within it becomes a major problem. We seriously need to increase the number of Dalit jour nalists in the mainstream media.
Therefore, if we start addressing this huge and ugly gap in the media at the level of journalism schools, that is a good thing. if you were a student of mine you will surely recall the heated debate on caste and reservations that is always part of my teaching module.
I think the idea of spreading the word about the scholarships is a very good one. I have every intention of doing that – and looking out for candidates who can be encouraged to apply. I heartily endorse your campaign.
Filed under: Caste dynamics, democratic activism | 2 Comments