Why I recommend Gandhi's book 'Hind Swaraj' for Indian media?

It is high time that news channels and anchors spreading such hate were assigned a mandatory reading of Hind Swaraj written by Gandhiji.
By  Rameez Makhdoomi

On night prime time shows on majority of news channels anchors in India  assume charge of justices of kangaroo courts. Distorting the image of a particular community has become their forte.  Anti-nationals, terrorist supporters, traitors are favourite terms used to spew venom against Kashmiri students and non partisan members of Indian society. With a few selected panelists it has almost become the holy duty of corporate media of India to castigate and suppress the voice of the voiceless in India. The per minute suicides of farmers and drought-hit nation’s troubles have no meaning for such outlets.

It is high time that news channels and anchors spreading such hate were assigned a mandatory reading of Hind Swaraj written by Gandhiji. Pertinently, this small book of about 30,000 words was written in Gujarati, in November 1909, on board a ship during Gandhiji’s return trip from England to South Africa. Gandhiji has aptly stated a nation is no nation until every village and individual sees his or her image in it.

A question to these media channels: Have they ever run their shows on this pragmatic point? Gandhiji has also felt sorry for those nations which treat their news outlets as Bible and then generate dishonest opinion based on that content. This, too, is pertinent for supposed experts who opine on the basis of such fascist content.

Hind Swaraj presents a tough dialogue in a humble and lucid manner and the moment present day  news anchors  find opinion different than their  choice the labels of crude nature are hurled.

Gandhiji in Hind Swaraj made a fundamental point that “my truth” is not the “only truth” and majority of present day news anchors think that their perception of truth is the only truth making them no better than wayward militia leaders. Gandhiji also called for interpretations to be diverse on a single issue. Here, too, media outlets consider their interpretation to be the sacred one.

Gandhi recognises the value of discontent in society for nation-building and these anchors consider discontent as a crime to be punished sternly.

Hind Swaraj argues that civillisational values should replace ego and this fundamental reality is also missing in present day corporate media. Such  media will do better if they envisage the realities via this masterpiece called Hind Swaraj  that will make them understand what real Swaraj and nation building means.

I as a student of human civilisation recommend the must read of Hind Swaraj for media anchors in India and panellists.

The writer is a freelance journalist who may be reached at rameezh3$

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2016 on page no. 2

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