Media is apathetic to societal problems: Tarun Tejpal

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) Accusing the media of being apathetic, commercial and deviating from its original role as a watchdog, Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal said it was increasingly becoming a part of societal problems rather than contesting them.

Speaking at the release of a report 'The Rise of Fascist Forces and the Attack on the Secular State' here yesterday, Mr Tejpal said, "we all recognise the beast of communalism but all we do is add a few whiskers and horns to it.

"We say India is shining and the largest democracy is on its way on becoming soft power but statistics reveal that actual number of people below poverty line is growing," he added.

Media houses, however, were, not bothered about covering the problems of the poor and illiterate, Mr Tejpal said. Unlike the 1980s, there are no longer any rural reporters to raise issues of the poor.

In times of sting operations, it was surprising not to find a single story against corporate houses. The media was becoming increasingly commercial and did not target big business houses for fear of losing advertisements, he said.

Terming the UPA regime as the government of the rich, he said, "the Prime Minister has no time to meet Bhopal gas tragedy protestors or fasting Medha Patkar but is seen inaugurating functions of the corporate sector." Talking about the rising "Hindutva activity", Mr Tejpal said great horrors took place in the most common circumstances.

The UPA regime, that had promised a ''riot free'' India before coming to power, had actually fostered complacency at a time in which the growth of Hindutva activity was continuing uninterrupted, he claimed.

The present government had left the "aam aadmi" with no choice or understanding of what was good for the country, he added.

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