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Webinar on Development Communication in India – Subhransu Choudhary

He expressed his feelings as he was talking from a forest in the Central India. He said that we
are in the middle of a war, the communication model that we are using since ages is less
democratic, if we look at politics, we had less democratic model before, we had aristocracy,
theocracy, military rule, and others. During 75 th year of independence, we decided to be a
political democracy. If we look at traditional medium, starting from printing press to radio
and films, it’s a top-down model, they are all very aristocratic, build by or maintained by a
very small number of people. Every paradigm has its pros and cons within a period of time.
India being an experimental in political democracy, the poor countries and the rest of the
world followed. Slowly and steadily, we are moving with an approach where more people are
participating, it is better, but there are lots of loopholes. If our media remains non-democratic,
it cannot contribute much to become a better democracy, so how can we make a democratic
media? And that is what we at CG net are trying to do, it is a global phenomenon that more
people are comfortable to listen and speak, then to read and write and internet has made it

“Every voter can be a reporter”, like in political democracy and specially in India, we choose
our government, our representatives in every five years. Of course, not every voter can be the
Prime Minister, similarly even if everybody speaks it is not sure that each voice will be heard
everywhere. So, from our experiments we have found out that, not everyone can be heard but
everybody can be a reporter. And in this process of nation building, it is not necessary that
one should be literate to participate in the process.
The current media creates war – as a journalist I have experienced these dangerous moments,
lived with dangerous people, I have also reported it as terrorism, Maoism, hundreds of people
attacked and it’s a 5 killed 7 injured story all the time. But can we go beyond that, can we
contribute in the problem to find a solution, what I found out in the process is, it is not that
simple, it is not that easy as we report, there are Maoist but there are majority who are not
Maoist, not communist but they are a part of the problem and why they have picked guns is
because, we are not listening to their stories, their stories are not reaching to us, the
communication model we are in is top-down, it goes from the center to the villages. It doesn’t
come up as it should be in a democracy, the very last person has the right to say, no matter
who it is.
This is doable, if we want a world with less war, with more peace, we have a major role
where we can create communication models which solves problem – not everyone can write
but almost everyone can speak. It may not be in the mainstream languages but they are
comfortable with their mother tongues, and as they know their problem better it makes sense
to let them tell their stories. And of course, not every story will be presentable, therefore we
should be there in the middle to channelize and to make sense out of these stories which are
coming out of the bottom. And our news commission should provide us with the data that this
number of people or that percentage is talking about this particular problem, and then the
journalist can go down and search for what is happening. These things are happening on the
internet, we get trending on twitter and Facebook but not everybody is there in twitter and
Facebook. And to be precise, mobile phones have not reached every corner. So, we have
developed something called “Bultu-Radio”, Bluetooth radio, as there is no signal, we connect
with them through Bluetooth, this kind of technologies are there, and we can create a
communication platform where every voice will be heard and respected like in a political
democracy. The communication here should be responsible and not like the present-day
social media, which is not inclusive and not at all responsible.
We criticize our political leaders all the time, and we should do it more often, but what they
have done in these 75 years is notable – India could have gone back to the same Raja – Raja
ki niti,
but our predecessors have made it “Lokniti”, we have Lok Tantra, we have
democracy, we vote. In the same way we look at our current model and try to find a better
model of communication. 90% of our population is on the internet, it is for us to ensure that
all the voices of our nation is heard. Or else we will get the same story of 5killed and 7
injured stories.

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