Media mostly spread bitterness, says columnist Soroor Ahmed

By M Naushad Ansari,

Patna: “Role of media in promoting peace and communal harmony is mostly negative. Media, indeed, spread bitterness”, believes senior journalist and eminent columnist of The Telegraph, Soroor Ahmad.

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Addressing a talk on ‘Role of media in promoting peace and communal harmony’ at Patna Book Fair on March 23, Ahmed, in his scholarly speech, said that peace and communal harmony is essential for development, but unfortunately, media sabotage it.

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.

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. The advancement in technology media has become all-pervasive, wide and deep.

Maulana Abdul Masjid Qasmi, Secretary General 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 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, a renowned surgeon and social worker presided over the function. He emphasized that various clashes take place because of misinformation about the 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. We need to use all possible sources of media to clear the cobwebs of misunderstanding among different communities.

The organization’s website was also launched by Dr. Abdul Hai on the occasion. The theme of Shanti Sandesh Kendr is ‘learning and sharing in the light of scriptures. The Kendr is working for communal harmony, peace, national integrity and universal brotherhood.

The program was organized by Shanti Sandesh Kendr, Patna, Bihar.