By Pash Zahid
Mar 1, 2013
The way The Telegraph and some other media houses in Kolkata are manipulating the public opinion on behalf of the big pocketed lobbyists, it's becoming more obvious than ever. When someone speaks of media manipulation, they can mean both manipulation by the media and manipulation OF the media (by business lobbies/politicians/self-serving interest groups etc.) Manipulation of the media does not require that every last media source goes along with it. It comes down to which media outlets are given cultural authority, and by whom and for what reason. It's never a simple matter of taking sides. These big media organizations end up being a public relation mechanism for the big Corporations and their boards of directors are connected with a plethora of other major global corporations and elite interests.
Haven't these strategies been in existence for a very long time? Most of them were developed during the sustained European colonialism of over 500 years and refined through the hapless participation of their conquered subjects. Yes, modern technological advances have enabled these strategies to be put in place with much more widespread impact. Though it would seem that some of the world is waking up from their prolonged sleep!!
In India and many other parts of the world due to Colonial Imperialism there has been a steep rise in Corporate Organizational Theory. The colonization was done at a micro level utilizing Psychology as a tool by Corporations and Banks, one such organization was the East India Company. Colonization was used for Governance and Deploying Cultural Imperialism. We fought and got back the Governance at the stroke of midnight on the 15th of August, but didnt do enough to counter Cultural Imperialism. The proof of Cultural Imperialism could be easily seen in practical life in India. Language played a big role. In the new generations perception, speaking proficiently in English alone gives one an edge over the other, no matter the regional language speaker studying in Bengali medium did an MA or Phd in Psychology or Environmental Studies, atleast in most cases. Same goes, for wearing Western Clothing, it is perceived as the way forward or having Fashion Awareness( Hot Pants, Sexy Lingerie, Thongs,etc ). This is in a way common in many parts of the Colonized World. Media is playing a massive role (Some Mainstream Films, Hip Hop songs - Fevicol Se or Cannibal Corpse, TV Network News, etc, etc..). It is a very fine example of Psychological Constructionism. Planted centuries back built over the course of generations giving it the veil of Generation Gap. The biggest attack was on the Family bond. Broken families, made their job easy and it also created more Resource Dependency, since Separated family meant two TVs, two Houses and all the related products.
In West Bengal due to the residual effect of Colonialism, followed by Communism, Politics to a large extent has penetrated many sections of society. With so much Ghotaala (Corruption) at Political level, the current generation have stopped trusting Politics too. Some parts of India have accepted the Corporate Culture and some maybe in the process. It might very well be the battle between Corporate System and the Political System in West Bengal in the form of FDI into retail.
One might think Ms Mamata Banerjee maybe wrong with some of her decisions but let’s not throw away the possibility of a different paradigm looking at the BIG PICTURE, maybe just maybe some of her decisions if not all were courageous decision, even though she knew it might alienate her.
I think maybe some people think it’s about making a choice (maybe the lesser evil or a Paradigm Shift) by sincerely looking at the BIG PICTURE considering and then filtering between choices not forgetting potential impact of each of the choices on every Human Being and back to yourself (Mirror Neurons)?
The big question is, what We The People could do to counteract these media manipulation strategies, not just for ourselves, but for society at large?
Being the Solutionaries through Focussing on the Schooling system, coming up with innovative learning styles, bringing Creativity inside classroom, quite similar to our preschooling schools, ones which, gets us to, get use to schools. TEDx talk by Zoe Weil : The World Becomes What You Teach
The act and idea of education is quite dependent on Motivation. The current grading system is there to guide but at the cost of taking a majority proportion of the Motive for Learning. Which should be to gain Knowledge and not good grades alone? By Alfie Kohn: No Grades + No Homework = Better Learning
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship”.