Role of media in promotion of peace

Patna: “As long as media remains silent on social issues, peace and communal harmony will be present. The moment media starts playing things, mostly for sensationalization and susceptibility to market forces, peace gets disturbed,” said senior journalist and eminent columnist Soroor Ahmad.

Addressing a talk on ‘Role of media in promoting peace and communal harmony’ at Patna Book Fair on March 23, Soroor Ahmad said that peace and communal harmony are essential for development, but, unfortunately, media sabotages it.

Today is the time of explosion of information, particularly by electronic media and social networking. Egypt’s Tahrir Square protests, India’s Anna Hazare’s movement etc demonstrate that social media in general, and networking portals in particular, provide new sources of information, which is almost uncontrollable. National problems are being decided by whims of few individuals. This rapid diffusion of the internet and the rise of dedicated social platforms dramatically changed the infrastructure of social connectivity. Today anybody is capable to plant news, without knowing its far-reaching repercussions. Loyalty to the public interest and social values has taken back seat, he said. With the advancement in technology, media has become all-pervasive, wide and deep.

Maulana Abdul Majid Qasmi of Shanti Sandesh Kendr, Patna, stressed that though there are various writers and journalists who are honest, truth-loving and unbiased, there is, unfortunately, a section in the media, which is less responsible and they believe in promoting disintegration.  Quoting from Geeta and Holy Quran, Maulana said that speaking truth is the essence of all religions in the world. Over the years, the problem of communalism has adversely affected the progress of this country. Time demands that social values and loyalty to the public interest is given prime importance. ‘Development will be rapid only in a peaceful society’, he asserted.

Dr. Abdul Hai emphasized that various clashes take place because of misinformation about issues. It has now been widely recognized that the print, electronic and other forms of social media can effectively play a very significant role in promoting communal harmony and peace. The organization’s website was also launched by Dr. Abdul Hai on the occasion.

M Naushad Ansari