The glory and the blemishes of the Indian news media

Our free media, including our largely unfettered press, are a hugely important asset for democratic India. And yet the celebration of the Indian news media can go only so far — and no further.

One of the great achievements of India is our free and vibrant press. This is an accomplishment of direct relevance to the working of democracy. Authoritarianism flourishes not only by stifling opposition, but also by systematically suppressing information. The survival and flowering of Indian democracy owes a great deal to the freedom and vigour of our press. There are so many occasions when, sitting even in Europe or in America, I have wished for something like the vigour and many-sided balance of the Indian press to confront the vilification of chosen targets.

One longstanding example of some moment is the organised mischaracterisation in the USA of the British National Health Service and similar public health arrangements in most of Europe. Despite the fact that America has some superb newspapers, such as The New York Times, the information industry has managed to undermine thoroughly the understanding of the great accomplishments of public health care in Europe, and its contribution to enhancing health security, life expectancy, and the quality of life. Rather, the National Health Service and other such medical arrangements are often seen as some kind of a “health lock-up,” generating a widespread horror of what is called “socialised medicine” (I have heard of a rumour that American children are persuaded to eat broccoli by threatening them with “socialised medicine” as a dreaded alternative).

Comment : Ha! New York Times is a superb paper? Hey, why don’t we jusy say that all the leftist newspapers and media in the US are the best in the world? If you really want to know more about the American media, watch and read the following :

Manufacturing Consent

Who rules America? (PDF)

Who rules America? (Youtube video)

Govt run healthcare is a disaster and will always will be a total disaster. For more on govt healthcare see Ron Paul debating Michael Moore here.

More on Amartya Sen here. (Note : Strong language)

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