Viral Zone: Is The Fourth Estate Under Threat in Modi’s India?

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Todays Viral Zone will feature Viral Tweet Chain from the popular centre of right Twitter handle @srirambjp with user name Sriram.

What is The Fourth Estate?

Preceding to the revolution of 1789, there were three estates or divisions in French society, the clergy, the nobility and the commons. These three estates were represented in the early form of a Parliament called the The Estates General. In British Parliament today the clergy is represented by the House of Lords, the common people are represented in the House of Commons. With the advent of the news papers and with an increasing influence of the Print Media in the national discourse and policy, it is started being referred to as the Fourth Estate.

To quote from the website of Open School of Journalism; The first use of the term Fourth Estate was by Edmund Burke in 1787 during a debate in parliament. It is used to accentuate the freedom of the press, not to be confused with the term "Fourth Branch" which proposes that they are not free from the government.

Indian mainstream media though is vibrant and thriving couldn't hide its political preferences as allegedly been patronized for generations by the long ruling dynasties of the Indian National Congress. The MSM also couldn't come to the terms that the new age media collectively referred to as the Social Media now sets the agenda and controls the national narrative. When the torch bearers of the MSM were questioned and held accountable for their blatant biases by the Social Media the users are collectively termed as trolls. Under intense daily scrutiny and fact check by the smart new age media users, the MSM termed such scrutiny as 'intolerance on the social media'. 

Fact is the MSM who were long under dynastic patronage could never reconcile to the fact that a Lutyens outsider with an humble background has become the Prime Minister of the country. Week after week, they manufacture stories of intolerance and cry victim hood and threat to life when countered. In this context Twitter user @srirambjp tweeted this well researched tweet series which not only nails the lie of MSM of increased intolerance under PM Modi leadership but also exposes the manufactured perception and outrage with hard numbers.

Sriram tracked each of the attack to their place of origin, the Indian State in which the attack took place and pinned the sitting CM and Govt of the State which otherwise are unfairly attributed to Central Govt as law and order is a state subject. He also countered a news headline from a leading national newspaper quoting the same database as mentioned in the article and proves beyond doubt that the headline is not just misleading but screams agenda.

Sriram then goes on to quote various awards, surveys and research reports to drive home the fact that although PM Narendra Modi is the same league of power as Trump, Putin & Xi, he is never near a mention of curtailment of press freedom. He then quotes Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 and PEW Attitude Survey to illustrate the fact that there is an increase in Trust in the Government led by PM Modi. Such trust is clearly not reflected by the biased media which should have been the true voice of people in letter and spirit.

Sriram ends the Tweet chain with a gentle remainder to the MSM quoting Mahatma Gandhi, "The Press is called the Fourth Estate. It is definitely a power, but to misuse that power is Criminal." 

How did the Twitterati react to this Tweet Chain? Well they loved it, not only did the tweets gone viral but also their reactions say so. Acclaimed and Award winning Bollywood Director Vivek Agnihotri felt it was a very insightful and factual thread.

Bharat Samvad Social Media Desk

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