Legacy Media is suffocating: Sagarika Ghose’s debut address in Rajya Sabha

In her debut address in Parliament, TMC’s Sagarika Ghose, a former journalist, lashed out at the state of modern media, accusing

| Updated: 02 July, 2024 7:07 pm IST
In her debut address in Parliament, TMC's Sagarika Ghose, a former journalist, lashed out at the state of modern media, accusing it of being under government control and lacking neutrality. Addressing Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Ghose highlighted what she sees as a decline in journalistic integrity and freedom.
In her debut address in Parliament, TMC's Sagarika Ghose, a former journalist, lashed out at the state of modern media, accusing it of being under government control and lacking neutrality. Addressing Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Ghose highlighted what she sees as a decline in journalistic integrity and freedom.

NEW DELHI: In her inaugural address at the Rajya Sabha, the journalist turned politician, TMC MP Sagarika Ghose stirred controversy by lamenting what she described as a lack of neutrality in today’s media landscape. However, her remarks quickly became a focal point of criticism on social media, with many questioning her own journalistic career and that of her husband, Rajdeep Sardesai, a prominent figure in Indian journalism currently serving as an incumbent with India Today.’

A Twitter user criticised, “With what face is she saying this? Look at yourself and your husband in the mirror and read this speech again.” Another sarcastically noted, “Former journalist #SagarikaGhose accusing journalists for not being neutral. Can someone ask her, was she a neutral journalist?”

Responding to the controversy, another user tweeted, “The irony of Sagarika Ghose lecturing on media neutrality is hard to miss. Perhaps she forgets her own role in shaping biased narratives during her journalism days.”

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Ghose, a former journalist, lashed out at the state of modern media, accusing it of being under government control and lacking neutrality. Addressing Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Ghose highlighted what she sees as a decline in journalistic integrity and freedom.

“Journalism once had a golden age, where the fearless press asked bold questions of power. Look at the media today—mainstream newspapers, television channels—all controlled by a dominant ideology. A hidden hand guides the camera and pens, suffocating the legacy media. They can no longer question the government. How can democracy survive without journalists speaking truth to power?” Ghose declared passionately.

She continued, lamenting the media’s capture and its impact on democratic norms. “Legacy media is suffocating in an airless, oxygenless jail,” she remarked, drawing attention to what she termed a “Democracy deficit.”

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Ghose also responded to the President’s recent address, criticising references to past emergencies. “Why do we dwell on 1975? We’re in 2024. Let’s focus on strengthening democracy today—freeing the press, upholding federal principles, and ensuring dissent is heard,” she urged.

Despite the criticism, Ghose’s return to public life as a TMC MP marks a significant shift from her previous role as a prominent journalist and Rhodes scholar. Her appointment as Deputy Chief of the Parliamentary Party in the Rajya Sabha underscores her evolving influence in political circles.

As Ghose navigates her dual role as a politician and former journalist, her statements continue to provoke debate on the role of media in democracy, echoing concerns over journalistic independence and government influence.

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