Manipal: Powerful Politicians and Businessmen Manipulate the Country – Sudheendra Kulkarni

Manipal: The School of Communication Manipal organised an M V Kamath Endowment Lecture on the topic, ‘Communication for a better world: Why and how the media should be reformed’, at the Syndicate Bank Golden Jubilee Hall here, on Saturday, October 17.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, a columnist and media advisor of former deputy prime mister of India L K Advani, was the speaker.

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Delivering the talk, Sudheendra Kulkarni said that the youth challenged and renew history and create something new. “Voluntary and self imposed silence is short lived and without communication, the thought process remains inert and lifeless. People of thought and action have the power to inspire. Ideas have the same effect as force on matter.” He advised the gathering that one should have faith in young people and in humanity. “Women and men with ideas that awaken, inspire and ignite the minds of people are the need of hour.”

He added that communication makes collective memory, culture and civilization alive. Words have the power to educate and inspire.

Lauding Mahatma Gandhi for his true journalistic approach, he said that the Mahatma was a good communicator, and a democratic and outstanding journalist. “He believed in a media which is never prosecuted for selfish ends and which does not amass money. He believed that true owners of the newspapers are its readers and not its proprietors. “Journalism is a small part of communication.”

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He lamented that a lot is changed in the world of media these days. Unfortunately, many of the changes have reinforced the ills and evils that Mahatma had warned against. Media outlets and products have been commercialized to an unacceptable degree and media is into mere lip service. Profit making rather than public service has become the guiding criteria for both news and entertainment. Paid news is increasing, he rued.

India is being manipulated by powerful politicians and businessmen, which shows the extent of malice spread in the Indian media. Media is seen to be dumping journalism and threatening people’s sensibilities, suppressing national and local cultures. He said that the internet is slowly bringing mass media back to the masses. In the process, it is also reforming the noble profession of journalism. It is shedding the dark image of mainstream media. The readers and viewers of print and electronic media are no longer passive consumers. Internet has helped ordinary citizens to know more about journalism. Journalists have an obligation to be objective, fair and non sensational, he added.

Replying to queries by the students, Sudheendra said that connectivity should come from within. “Roti, Kapda, Makhan and Communication are the fundamental needs of human beings,” he said. He stressed that we need a hunger free India and simultaneously a digital India which would ensure progress of the nation. Asserting that freedom means to question oneself and to question one’s beliefs, he added that there is a need to embrace new ideas.

He said that terrorism is now destroying Pakistanis themselves, where more people are being killed because of terrorism. “Pakistanis are now realizing the dangers of terrorism,” he added.

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