I had the privilege of recently participating in a discussion co-organized by the American Leadership Forum (ALF) and the Indians for Collective Action (ICA). The topic of the discussion was “Celebrating Democracy and People Power” with special reference to the rise of the anti-corruption movement in India and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the US. One of the aspects that was discussed was the role of the media in the success of the movement in India.
There is little doubt that the anti-corruption movement was largely fueled by the media. Every leading newspaper in the country had a separate section dedicated to the Lokpal debate. The TV channels constantly fed the flames of the news cycle with “breaking news” of all kinds. Over time, everyone from the oft-maligned middle-class to the “aam” junta on the street had heard of Lokpal. The specifics can be left to the experts, but the media had more than done its job of bringing awareness about Lokpal to the mainstream. Law-making in India has changed forever,and for this, we have the media to thank. In the days and years ahead, we are bound to see a lot more civic engagement from the public when it comes to law-making.