Politics plays an important role in the running of any country. Each country has its own political methods and style of running a government. India is a sovereign democratic republic whereas the U.S.A is a federal republic and Britain has a monarchy head with a government run by the prime minister. In India politics play a major role and politicians have a deep impact on voters via their caste, creed, and religion; this is owing to a large number of people being uneducated who only consider the party leaders rather than the party’s policies and actual performance on a national level. The role of the media has a direct influence on the way that political messages are received by the public. I will offer in this essay a comparison of the different ways in which the media can influence the political realm in Britain and in India.
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India is the biggest democracy in the world. The politics of India obtain position in a framework of central parliamentary multi party representative democratic state. Prime minister of India is known as the head of the government, chief of ministers. He is the organizer of the popular party in legislature. Prime minister has a right to choose or release the members of the cabinet. In the political system of India the president is selected although not directly. President is nominated by the Member of Parliament, people of legislative assembly and the members of the council. For most of years multi party system is operating throughout the country. In India political parties are divided into two categories: National Parties and Regional Parties. National parties are related to all over the world. These are Indian National Congress, Bharti Janta Party, Bahujan Smaj Party, and Communist Party of India. On the other hand Regional Parties belongs to their states only. For example Shiv Sena party (MAHARASHTRA) Akali Dal (Punjab), Telugu Dasam (ANDHARA PRADESH). As like any other democratic system, political parties stand for different sections among the Indian society and regions, and their basis values play a most important role in the politics of India. Both the decision-making branch and the governmental branch of the rule are run by the representatives of the supporting parties who have been elected through the elections. Though the electoral process the people of India chooses which greater part in the lower house, a government can be fashioned by that party or the coalitions. Indian politics have been affected or influenced by other social and economic issues. Owing to the unwillingness for homogeneity in the Indian population which had resulted divisions between various sections of the people based on religion, region, caste, language and race, hence different political parties with manifesto based on one or mix of these groups. Similarly economic issues like poverty, unemployment, development, have influenced Indian politics a great deal. Some parties emphasize on eradicating poverty and the other stressing on free marketing economy and business. Recently introduced RTI (right to information) is surprisingly major breakthrough in Indian legislation to empower general public to ask about the information in any government department and also had one the applaud of Barrack Obama on his recent visit to India.
The Indian democracy based on the quotations by the Abraham Lincoln which was further echoed by first Indian prime minister after independence. “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal â€¦ we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln). Unfortunately politician in India have failed to deliver the real contents of above mentioned. In India the democracy can be described as George Bernard Shaw mentioned “Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent for appointment by the corrupt few”. This had been contributing towards the slow growth of the country and at times the patience of the population has been tested to the hilt. As George Orwell’s remarks fits perfectly for Indian politicians and the politics “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” If these remarks were reversed, the shape of the politics and future of the country would have been lot brighter and real meaning of democracy could have been addressed and disseminated.
Media had never been at the forefront in the early day after independence. Both print and electronic were limited to few newspapers, radio and transistors. Illiteracy in India has played significant role to warrant the expansion of media increasing publications in regional, languages on national level. Media was controlled and had to work under the censorship of ruling party. Consequently not reflecting the reality in Indian politics was in capacitated to express independent views of their own and any critically aspects ever raise by the public. The introduction of television open the doors to propagate news and the views of the current events, but unfortunately dependency at the mercy of the ruling party until at the turn of the twentieth century. Although the newspapers on national level are still by enlarge boast to certain political parties, but generally the electronic media trying their level best to exhibit the unadulterated reality so to speak.
In India media started with expansion of press with main focus on propagating news and on the views about current events. As per the political view point of each media support each party. Every political leader gave his views then newspapers provide us the knowledge. Newspapers although try play an independent role but most of them they are own by the people who are attached to the political parties. Times of India, Hindustan Times, Hindu, Indian Express, The Tribune, and Deccan Herret are the famous Newspaper in India. Newspapers in India they are not still by nature, they come to conclusion even without any proper research. There is not waterproof system by which one can see the media. Media persons used their own views with the view points of any leader. Although Radio and Television recently has been made independent. They have to go to a long way to become really independent that the way all political parties put their views without any discrimination. In the press conferences if any person asks the question from the leader they never give the suitable answer for it. In Britain newspapers have huge political importance. Most of them support the government (The Conservative) but only few support the main opposition party (Labour). Many people think this is unfair. Indian political parties had gone to the extent to gain the popularity and assertiveness that they have used the world renowned reformist Mother Teresa in their campaigns and canvassing of their political selfishness. Media too had been toeing the full steps of politicians rather than reflecting general publics opinions and their own expert critical analyses on the performance Indian political parties in a regards to the exploitation of such a great, pure and pious soul.
Unlike Britain in India Bollywood celebrities had been turning their faces towards politics to attain popularity for their own regional parties. The country where majority of the population is illiterate considered their film idols as their model roles irrespective of their awareness to the performance in political field. In other words majority of the public of rural areas believe in hearsay and follow the suit blindly.
There was a time not long ago in Britain when local politicians would often visit your house and ask the householder if they had any problems or issues they wanted to raise. Now it seems that this work is done through the media. Many politicians now have Face book pages or communicate to local people through twitter or they may have their own on line blog site. Some people argue that this just shows politicians are lazy. In India there is no political leader communicate on the internet as had never been the tradition in India whichever leader try to change or modernize the impact of communication had to face damaging consequences. Although in my point of view a ironically enough Indians want to break away from their traditional ., dogmatic methods to compete internationally as a major force but still as the saying goes “old habits die hard ” the system does not encouraged the modern and popular means of communication.
The Britain also India has the framework of central parliamentary multiparty representative democratic state where prime minister is the head of the government where the Queen is the monarch acting likes president acts in India. Conservative(Tory) , Labour had been two major parties in the British politics. With liberal democrats also contributes though small but significant opposition the parliament. Unlike India British politics is complicated being superpower of the world and well developed nation. The definition of democracy in British politics is far better addressed and followed as compare to India.
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Traditionally politics in Britain had never been like talk of the town but still generally public had been very much aware and conscious of their governments performance on national as well as on international level. From the days of Winston Churchill the present days of David Cameron British prime ministers have been an inspiring force to lead their country ahead. “In politics you always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and the sense that you are injured the rest will turn on you like wolves.”| (R.A Butler) the following above mention lines had been prove and most of the British prime ministers had to endure and counter effect and resultant. The politics and the politicians of former transparent and easily accessible to the general public. Human values of for more respected which was mirrored in more recent times on the sad occasion at the sudden demise of Princess Diana.. This was also the same year that Mr. Blair was first elected as prime minister, 1997, and some people felt that the compassionate nature of his new Labour party may have been due to the shock of her death and the way he had to respond in front of the world media. (WALTER 2001).
British media have been very famous to impart the news nationally as well as internationally in an unbias manner. Both print and electronic have been successfully used by the public because of un complications of linguistics. English being one and only language in the country make for more easier for the media to express their messages to the public and keep them up rise of the latest political, economically, social issues and wide. British media has always reflected democratic and un inhibited opinion.
Many people in Britain and India feel that the media do a good job in the political process. They can give helpful information about difficult policies and try to explain it in an easy way that everyone can understand. The same can be said for the newspapers. Some of the newspapers that are aimed at intellectuals have complained the political reports have become too simple. But I think most people find it easier now to understand the tougher topics. Sometimes this is done in a funny way with television programmes and movies that make fun of the politicians. I think every country has politician like that and it is good for democracy when the media turns their attention on them for it reminds us that the political realm is not just for the intellectuals but for the ordinary people as well. This is when the media shows favoritism to some or not to others. It discriminates against those people that it does not support or have a financial interest in Rupert Murdock is a millionaire in Australia and he owns a great may sections of the world media. He has been criticized in the Britain and Indian media for having too much influence in the political realm and he is not even a politician, but due to his millions he has the same type of influence from his News Corporation that normally is given to politicians only (Kelleher).
The influence of media in the early days of after independence used to be extremely limited to the few print media and as far as electronically Radio and transistors were used to be shared by the public. Gradually as the country and public could afford it the introduction of television (black and white) was only limited to financially wealthy people living in metropolitan or cosmopolitan cities which represented fraction of the whole population of India. In India policy issues have much more importance since many people lives depend on them e.g. agrarian policies and international trade agreements which can affect how much food is available for the people of India to eat (SEN).
All in all it would not be fair to compare India and Britain because they seem like two opposite sides of a coin. Although their goals, objectives, their vision and strength for the safe future are same yet India being third country at one time has Endeavour to attain the status of future major force have been remarkable progress. Despite so many hurdles in their own country which in Britain perhaps never to be seen. Perhaps in India politics have to long way to be a transparent and for the people comparatively could be confident achieving that one day. Similarly presence and the influence in any political realm comparatively are not justifiable being so many dissimilarities between the countries that is size of the country, population, languages, caste, and creed.
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