Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Media as a Catalyst in the Anti-Corruption Movement through the Lokpal Bill

Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Media as a Catalyst in the Anti-Corruption Movement through the Lokpal Bill

Article excerpt


Media, today, plays extremely vital role in peoples' life. In the contemporary world, more and more people are on social networking sites. It's like a mirror to the society which reflects each and everything about the society to people, thus shapes people's perception. The media affect our perception in three ways--social, economic and political. Social media also plays extremely crucial role in spreading awareness about anti-corruption movement and social responsibilities. It is now India's turn, where every form of media be it social media--the newest entrant in media section, print media with maximum reach to the hinterland, electronic media--which has greatest impact on rising middle class, to display exceedingly significant role in creating awareness.

Genesis of Social Movements in India

The term social movement was first used by Saint Simon in France to characterise the social protests that emerged in France and later elsewhere in the world. Now, social movement refers to the groups and organisations outside the mainstream of the political systems. They are important source of political change. The social structure should provide an environment for the growth of collective behaviour.

In post-independence India there has not been any mass movement except the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan movement in 1974. The government in 1989 liberalised the economy to bring in private players, as well as to accelerate the pace of economic development in India and to open the Indian market to global players. In post-liberalisation, there has been rampant corruption and accumulation of black money. Political corruption is an ongoing problem in India, acknowledged domestically and internationally. India faces large-scale corruption at all levels of government and in private sphere as well as in everyday transaction in the public sphere. Transparency International ranked India 94 out of 176 on its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), with a score of 36. India scored better than Argentina, Gabon and Tanzania, which had scores of 35 (Transparency International: CPI-2012).

Corruption can lead to decrease economic development, as theft diverts money for public services and infrastructure from its original purpose. Unfortunately for last four decades, in India no effective act or institution was formed. However, India's 2005 Right to Information Act called for increased transparency and required that the government disclose requested information to Indian citizens, allowing them to expose corrupt acts. But, this legislation does not directly address corruption. Complaints against corrupt officials often go unanswered. Several highly publicised scams involving the Adarsh Society, Prasar Bharati, Commonwealth Games-2010, the Indian Premier League, 2G and the Coal industry helped spark more recent interest in curbing corruption. The scams involved politicians cum administrators. The media has reported a wide range of stories related to above instances. To combat corruption, India's Parliament has debated establishing an independent commission with the authority to investigate and punish corrupt government officials. To stick people's faith in democratic set up--"we need an independent agency which can effectively control mal-administration, corruption or misuse of power by the person in the office". In order to have a good government there is an international demand for the importation of Ombudsman. The office of the Ombudsman originated in Sweden in 1809 and has been adopted by many nations. Ombudsman is a government official who investigates citizen's complaints against the administrative and judicial action. The Indian version of this is Lokpal and Lokayukta. In 2010, due to major corruption scandals, the Indian government drafted a new version of Lokpal bill. But, many citizens and social activists considered the proposed measure weak, as it did not cover the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, and cabinet ministers. …

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