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INDIA: Media needs to introspect on its role

Activist cites media reports that have had negative impacts on instances of communal violence across the country

The Times of India
Friday, August 14, 2009

Mangalore --- Communalism is a major challenge for the country, said former DGP of Gujarat Srihari Kumar.

Speaking at the book release ceremony of Dharmada Hesarinalli, a Kannada translation of his book by noted writer Sara Abubakkar, here on Thursday, he said communalism has spread among different sections of society with the youth falling prey to various communal ideologies. He said compared to the 80s, people today are more conscious of their leanings and it has to be combated with stern methods.

According to Kumar religious harmony and coexistence was India's greatest contribution to world culture and communalism is now posing a serious threat to this heritage, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, activist Teesta Setalvad said successive governments have failed to provide justice to the victims of communal violence in post-Independent India. Referring to the role of the media in covering incidents related to communal violence, she said the media needs to introspect in this direction. What role the media plays in such complex situations has to be discussed seriously, she said citing instances where media reports have aggravated the situation during communal violence in different parts of the country.