Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Speaking Tree | May 21, 2018
It is said that media is a powerful tool with respect to social reform. It is certainly true that the media has achieved the status of the greatest industry; It is present in every home, big or small. But there is no social reform. Everyone complains about the deterioration in human and social values. In spite of great expansion, media has little positive effect on our present society.
The reason lies in the very nature of media. The subject of media is to write instant history, it has no interest in the past or the future. The sole focus here is what is going on in the present. Due to this nature of media, it has failed to bring about any positive change in society.
The past is full of experiences and every experience has a lesson; but when we are not interested in the study of the past, we deprive ourselves from such lessons, and thus, reassessing our lives.
On the other hand, the future means thinking about tomorrow. The best planning is only one that is future-oriented, but media has no interest about future events.
In such a situation, media simply becomes a source of intellectual enjoyment on a daily basis. One who is engaged in it—both, in print and electronic forms, can only think about the present and their formula of life becomes, ‘right here, right now’. This state of mind makes them self-centred; they cannot think about social values. Social betterment needs a mind that is socially-oriented but people of the above kind live with a self-oriented mind, and these kinds of people cannot play any role in social reform.
Another aspect of media is that it is not a mission; media is an industry. This nature of media makes it impotent for playing any role in terms of social reform. This is not a value judgment about media; it is simply an objective assessment. If it is expected that media will play a role in social reform, that is an over-expectation; this kind of thinking will only create undue criticism towards the media.
Media cannot be blamed; blame goes to those persons who know that it is our need to bring about reform in society, but they themselves do nothing. It is like transferring your duty to the media, in the form of a complaint. One has only two options in this regard; either take media as a provider of news or try to discharge their duty regarding social reform.
The above complaint is like asking for a third option, which is simply not an option in this world of reality. It is the same as uttering words which have no value.