Some people are of the opinion that the media especially the news media should be more positive in its approach to reporting the news and other events. There are people who believe that ‘positive news’ stories would result in people behaving more positively and encourage hope. In my opinion that sounds more like propaganda. Propaganda is the exaggeration or lying to promote an agenda. Though the idea of promoting propaganda for the betterment of society may sound like a brilliant idea, it is simply misguided. I remember theological proverb attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, ‘The path to hell is paved with good intentions.’ It is my opinion that value should be placed on critical thinking skills not ‘positive feelings’ from ‘good deeds that go unpublished.’
As with every Indian coming through the Indian Education system, my education especially concerning history was saturated with propaganda. This greatly affected my intellect and probably the intellect of the every student across the country. Students are taught to deify historical figures or events instead of critically analyzing them. Complex human beings and events are reduced to easily palatable paragraphs that ignored their darker sides and the consequences. We can see the result of this level of propaganda today, as Ultra Nationalists who misunderstand history run rampant and long to return to some non-existent golden age in the past.
Historical figures and events should be critically analyzed for all their faults, consequences and importance. Every idea, belief or ideology should not be shielded from criticism and must be vigorously scrutinized to see whether it should be discarded or retained. Only then can progress be achieved. Children should not be lied to, for vested interests to shamelessly promote their ideology
With this in mind, I disagree with people who desire for more positivity in the media. The problems of India can be traced to the apathy of the masses. But the people are not apathetic due to a lack of positive news in the media but they are apathetic primarily as a result of ignorance of the core problems of the country. They have been forced fed propaganda their entire lives leading them to believe their country is superior to all, when in reality; India is struggling to catch up with other nations. There has been a lot achieved by this country, no doubt about that, but a lot more needs to be done. The role of the media especially the news media is not social experimentation, but simply to report the facts and share educated opinions. The facts and educated opinion is that India’s situation whether economically, politically or socially is quite grim, pretending otherwise will not fix this country’s problems.
Thus in my opinion ‘positive news’ will serve no function other than to make people of the country complacent, apathetic and ignorant. I am reminded of a line from western pop culture I saw in recent years, ‘The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie.’ If people want ‘positive news,’ I suggest they read fiction, I much prefer facts.