The democratic divide

Published: July 13, 2010

NC, US: This is with reference to Rasul Bakhsh Rais’s article “The democratic divide” (July 11). The Punjab Assembly’s anti-media resolution is a feel-good motion but one must resist the urge to see it in that light. After all, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists endorsed the Facebook ban, essentially supporting a policy of self-censorship. And we must remember that members of the media repeatedly advocate a revolution to rid the country of its corrupt ruling class, making their commitment to democracy suspect.  If anything, it is extremely rare to see unconditional support for democracy among the media. In fact, the root of this entire crisis is the media and judiciary’s newfound obsession with exposing the political class as a group of “cheaters”. It does not take a genius to see that anti-democratic impulses fuel this particular campaign.

If one is judging the political class by its collaboration with dictatorships of the past then surely the media must be judged by the same standard, making the argument that major groups within the media opposed dictatorship untenable.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2010.

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