The Role of the Media During Communal Riots in India: A Study of the 1984 Sikh Riots and the 2002 Gujarat Riots
Media Asia, 37(2), 103-112, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2014
Date Written: August 22, 2010
Secularism is the backbone of the Indian Constitution and India is a land of many religions. However, one can witness frequent communal conflicts between various religious groups. In a multi-religious society like India, the role of the mass media in such communal conflicts becomes extremely important. Two of such horrific communal riots have been the 1984 Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat (Godhra) riots. The coverage by the Indian media on both the incidents received intense criticisms. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the way in which the Indian media covered and reported the 1984 Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat (Godhra) riots. In analysing the role of the media in both the riots, the paper would also discuss if the media have been objective and also as to what ideally should be media’s role in coverage of such future communal riots in India, if any.
Keywords: Riots, Media, India, Press, Communalism
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