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Role Of Media In Times Of Social Disharmony

What is Social Disharmony?

India is an emerging society and the growth of socio-economic situation is on the process. After the Independence, economic development was not the only need of the hour but social development of various sections of the society was considered to be of a major challenge. Social Disharmony is caused due to the incessant desire to classify each of us as a member of some racial or ethnic or cultural grouping which is dangerously divisive and disrupts the harmony that's already prevailing in the society.

Despite having many constitutional provisions of being a secular state, the Indian society has faced many cases of Social disharmony as a consequence of which communal unrest happens. There are many factors that contributes towards the causation of Social disharmony in a Society. The causes for this Social Disharmony is mainly economic in nature such as Unemployment, Poverty, Urbanization, Caste Discrimination, Gender In-equality and so on.

Role of Media

Media are the channels which are used to disseminate information, entertainment, news, education, or promotional messages. Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as television, radio, newspapers, telephone, internet etc. Due to the advancements in the field of technology, the reach of media and its all forms is all pervasive, effective and wide. The media is considered to be a potent instrument that moulds the public opinion accordingly.

It can either brutalize the society or lift the society to a higher level. Since our country is a secular one, which is a heterogenous mixture of all communities and diversities, the media plays a very important role. It plays an indispensable role in strengthening the core subjects of the society. The Media ensures equal growth and development on all fronts of the society, societal harmony, national integration, a sense of belongingness, public tranquillity and peaceful existence of life.

Media gets great power along with great responsibility

The media is the most powerful entity on the earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Events do not travel Reports do. And through this they are able to influence the minds of the masses.

India, is a country that consists of diversified population comprising people of different religions, castes, communities, sects, etc. Though generally it is noticed that they all can be living together in peace and harmony, the Nation has witnessed many instances where the societal harmony is disrupted to a larger extent. In such times of conflict, the onus of responsibility lies primarily on the Government and also various agencies that try to restore normalcy in the Country.

In that case, the Media is given the huge responsibility to influence and mould the public opinion with regard to the need of fostering friendly and harmonious relationship despite of various diversities, ultimately promoting national integrity and solidarity.

Here, the term Media generally refers to the Mass Media which is specially envisioned and designed in such a way that it reaches audiences scattered all over the Nation. Despite of all the positive steps taken by various agencies of mass media towards, preservation and promotion of societal harmony, an often heard and a known criticism of these are that they are prone to be giving in to sensationalism and commercialization where they tend to exaggerate facts of events which definitely results in serious communal tensions and conflicts.

It is also noted that a large number of print and electronic media, instead of bringing communal unrest to normalcy, often played an ignorant role in inciting agitations as a consequence of which large scale rioting, arson and pillage takes place.

Media is considered to be one of the very important factors that causes unnecessary agitations amongst the crowd. It poses a threat to the societal harmony in many ways. The Media must publish its news or work only after verifying the authenticity of the source of the information at hand and must be presented with due cautions and restraint in a manner which is conducive to the creation of an atmosphere that is congenial to communal harmony, amity and peace.

Media as a potent tool to cause Social Disharmony

In order to maintain the integrity amongst the community and to strengthen the communal harmony, the society must have to sort to different forms of media in order to reach the large masses that is scattered across the world. It is considered to be the potent instrument because it has the potential to mobilize the public opinion with accordance to the situation prevailing at that moment. It is of a general opinion that, Social Disharmony is fuelled by fear, suspicion and hatred that are transmitted through the channels of Media.

As the Media has an upper hand in providing information and content about the happenings in and around a Society, the audiences are forced to believe that, being the Primary source. There are instances where the media has misrepresented the datas and facts regarding the prevailing discrepancies in the society to the audience.

Media as a double edged sword
In the present day, media impacts the life of an individual in several different ways possible. The way one thinks, the attitude and the actions are all impacted in the process. This being the case, what is the role of media in promoting societal harmony, especially in a diverse country like India?

Media can be both. Media can be one of the most powerful tools to promote the harmony and peace in the society. It effectively takes part in promoting democracy, equality, tolerance and other positive social values and norms in different ways. But the current media culture is market driven thereby the credibility of its real work erodes as a consequence, at least to a greater extent.

When the media can have such a positive impact on the society, it has the same amount of negative impact as well. It all depends on how it portrays the matter in hand to the society. It must strictly adhere to the norms and standards according to which the news is reported or commented on matters which is in direct relation to the Societal harmony.

The norms and standards also include to not distort, or exaggerate any irrelevant facts without any authentic source, and to avoid the usage of intemperate and unrestrained language that is bound to incite unrest in the society. The Media, especially must ensure that it is strictly following to the abovesaid norms, thereby its serves the duty of maintaining the social balance amongst the people in the society.

Their writings and reports are just not a mere reflection of their own feelings but it also helps at a larger extent in moulding the feelings and sentiments of the audiences. The media, being the vital source of information for tomorrow's history, must owe an undeniable duty to the future by recording events without altering or tailoring the factuals and figures.

Written By: Akshaya. S

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