As much as we in the Indian media crib and cry about our lot, and some of us like who bitch and moan about the cribbing and the crying and the 'awesomeness' of our coverage in public, the fact of the matter is that we in the Indian media should thank our lucky stars every day of our lives. Thank our lucky stars that we are working here and not in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal or Pakistan. It is true that we can't choose our neighbours but the media across our borders ranges from the dysfunctional (Pakistan, but then again, Pakistan is dysfunctional and some might argue so are large swathes of the Indian media, and there are honourable exceptions across the border) to the brutally violent (Nepal and Sri Lanka) and the corrupt (Bangladesh). The sad fact is not that we don't know about this, (though beyond a point 'foreign affairs' for many North Indian homes would be anything south of the Vindhyas but the opposite is not quite true) but how our government tolerates it.
For a country that advertises its democratic credentials wherever it goes, and I guess this would be the tag-line: Look at us, a history-sheeter who has murdered people can now legislate matters of importance here - can they do that in your so-called 'developed democracies'? Huh? We do have a horrible history of propping up some rather unpleasant people - Sudan, Myanmar and Zimbabwe for example - the first two for oil and gas and the last so that M/s Pawar and Modi can carry on their diabolical gameplan with cricket. But with neighbours with whom we share cultural and historical bonds and with whom we haven't entered into a sixty-year long war that doesn't seem to end, we have made it a point to ignore what is going on across our borders.
A vibrant media is important for any country, sure, spreading occultism is not the job of the media and that must be controlled and note to the Broadcasting Association - stopping occultism is not censorship, it is common-sense, so please self-censor. Back to my point, I believe, and I'm no foreign affairs wonk here, that ensuring that the media remains free and fair across the border is in India's best interests. To allow governments or ideologies to muzzle their media - no matter how much we say that it is an internal matter will do nobody any good. And a note to the Indian media at large, I know this blog gets read, so there is no harm in writing about these things. I know that the readership surveys might indicate otherwise, but then again, didn't analysts say that the market would keep on going up!