VP Dhankhar slams degeneration of Fourth Estate

Bhopal: Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday expressed concern that investigative journalism is tottering on the brink of extinction in Bharat even as TRP and sensationalism rule the roost.

Addressing the fourth convocation of the city-based Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Dhankhar said, “The Fourth Estate appears to be fast asleep in a manner akin to the Ramayana character Kumbhakarna. I regret to state that journalism – which is supposed to be a medium for social service – has become a ‘profession’ and a centre of power that has moved away from standards. Indeed, the situation is explosive! A media person cannot serve the interests of any political party and should not adhere to a narrative. Do not associate development with politics. We are compelled to show the mirror to those very people whose basic work is showing the mirror to others,” he felt.

Distinguishing between information and news, Dhankhar said the latter is defined as something that someone wishes to conceal.

“Air-conditioned offices and Google ‘guru’ are the norm. Other countries have channels where interactions whet our collective intellectual appetite but in India unparliamentary language is employed. Acting in haste is improper. A Telangana newspaper falsely accused my office of posting fake photographs of committee meetings,” he said.

Dhankhar noted that it is a matter of unalloyed pride for India that foreign leaders who graced the G20 Summit in New Delhi went on record stating they had scarcely imagined that an event of such magnitude and magnificence could be successfully conducted in Bharat.

“During the conclave, I had several discussions. The World Bank Group President is of Indian origin. In his words, financial inclusion achieved by India over a period of 72 months was not possible in the preceding 47 years. The guests were bade farewell in true Indian fashion with our Prime Minister being the last personage to depart from the Bharat Mandapam.”

Dhankhar said the situation was in stark contrast to Bharat being earlier counted among the Fragile Five; which included South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil.

“At this juncture, we are the fifth most powerful nation and have surged ahead of even the British who once held sway over us,” he observed.

On a grim note, the Vice-President said that he is extremely pained by the fact that “some individuals” simply cannot digest the country’s praise.

“They attempt to find opportunities to taint and tarnish Bharat outside our borders. No citizen of any other country does so,” he underlined.

The Vice-President said that in his capacity as Rajya Sabha Chairman he is constantly endeavouring to encourage dialogue, deliberation, debate and discussion but disturbance is what is actually occurring.

Over the past couple of decades, numerous milestones have been crossed in Madhya Pradesh where irrigated acreage and electricity supply multiplied six times, Dhankhar said adding that it would have been better if scribes had accessed ground zero and reported on how the transformation impacted positively on the social and educational spheres besides the existence of the commoner.

Highlighting the success of Chandrayaan-3, the Vice-President recalled, “In the sixties, our satellites were launched from other countries while Pakistan was launching from its own territory.”

The Vice-President dedicated to the people the University’s new premises at Bisankhedi. UNI

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