Manufacturing Consent

Manufacturing Consent

In 1988, the eminent Professor Noam Chomsky along with Edward Herman wrote a path breaking and incisive thesis. Titled , “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media”, Messrs Chomsky and Herman asserted that “the mass communication media of the U.S. are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion, by means of the propaganda model of communication”.  This  central insight and core hypothesis of the book still holds and  in, different permutations and combinations, is valid across space and time. In the nature of a general observation, the central tenets of the thesis have a searing resonance in the media ecology and mediascapes of India –especially when it comes to Kashmir and Kashmiris. The Indian media- especially the visual media- has almost embarked on a crusade against Kashmir and Kashmiris. Kashmiris are demonized, discredited and disparaged in slanted and aggressive TV talk shows and debates on a daily basis. While it is not entirely clear what the larger agenda of Indian media is vis a vis Kashmir but, on the face of it, it appears that the name of the game of the demonization of Kashmiris is to present them as an implacable, hostile Other who have been mollycoddled for far too long and who must be shown their place. This would presumably include justifying coercion and force against Kashmiris. The Indian media is then “manufacturing consent” and justifying whatever is done in the name of Kashmir and against Kashmiris. One effect of this approach is the stultification of the minds of the Indian intelligentsia , who by this process of continuous barrage of misinformation, slander and demonization of Kashmiris see “all” measures as justified against Kashmiris. The reason why this approach which has become thematic now crowds the airwaves is because media in India has , barring a couple of weak hold outs, become effectively corporatized. Corporatization of the media implies and means working for the profit motive and shareholders instead of the public good. Moreover, corporatization also means that corporate media houses for an n number of reasons bow down before powers that be and do their bidding. These developments, in combination, mean that media in India will be slanted- more so and especially when it comes to Kashmir. Manufactured Consent is then the new name of the game for Indian media. All this can only be ominous!

One Response to "Manufacturing Consent"

  1. Muna   June 9, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    No doubt indian jingoist corporate media is worse

    Reply

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