Showing posts with label Research paper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Research paper. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Share on Back Benches (A Survey on Social background of Bihar’s Media Institutions)


पिछली सीटों की हिस्‍सेदारी

Share on Back Benches
(A Survey on Social background of Bihar’s Media Institutions)

By Pramod Ranjan
In the midst of putative peace, you could, like me, be unfortunate enough to stumble on a silent war. The trouble is that once you see it, you can't overlook it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing becomes as political an act as speaking out.
Arundhati Roy
Social Study of an association of public importance is a work of academic nature. But in a society full of presumptions, you bump on a soundless war in the very beginning, during its mental process itself. Every step forward starts turning to be political. Now whether you chose to speak out or to be quite, you can’t escape the politics. The work of survey of the social background of Bihar's Media institutions is also the same. 

If you have seen its consequences then how can you ignore the fact that this giant state has no tribal or Dalit or backward, nor a woman on decision making posts in Hindi - English media Institutions. (See - some media institutions sample tables - 5, 6, 7 and 8) 

All together ... 
Barring some exceptions present on paper, any sign of socio-cultural diversity does not exist among a population of more than 90 million spread over a million square kilometers on the beds of Ganga, Flgu, Son, Kosi, Gandak, Bagmati, Kamala, Mahananda, Karmnasha rivers etc. All of them are Hindus, reincarnated and men!

About three years ago, Delhi's Media Studies Group carried a survey on the social backgrounds of people working at important and high posts in different Hindi - English national media. This survey of 37 Delhi based media institutions collected information about the social background of at least 10 top officers of each institution. In National media, the authoritative positions are mostly occupied by Hindu men belonging to high castes, namely 71%, 4% were found to be from backward classes and high caste Hindu women showed their presence by controlling 17% of such positions.  The number of Dalits and tribals was however zero.
At first, we tried to adopt the same techniques for survey on Bihar’s media institutions, which left us with some spellbinding results.
Those 37 media institutions which were included in the survey of national media institutions were headquartered mostly in Delhi and so they had a sufficient number of influential high posts. So the selection of top 10 positions was possible and feasible. This facility was not there in the media institutions of Patna.

In media institutions of Patna, we identified the following 5 posts as authoritative, (1) Editor (2) News Editor (3) Bureau Chief (4) Main / Special Correspondent and (5) Province Desk in charge.

Several media institutions of Patna lack even the above listed 5 posts. Many newspapers, news agencies and electronic channels employ a very low number of journalists. In fact, many bureau offices of national media institutions which are situated here have the (Bureau) “Chief” post alone. In such situations, people working in posts equivalent to the above listed posts were also considered as authoritative. The numbers of such journalists in several offices are as low as 5, or 3 or even 2; in many offices Bureau Chief alone has the highest authority. Under this, 78 journalists working on high posts on state level, from 42 different media institutions were screened about their social background. These included Hindi - English print (Urdu not included), Electronic media, news agencies and magazines.

First from the start 

Indeed the idea of Survey emerged after the devastating flood occurred in River Kosi on August 2008. Thousands of people lost their lives in this flood. The area in which flood occurred was a Yadav and Dalits dominated area. While the state even saw a government which in the last quinquennial festival of democracy which boosted about abolishing Yadav Raj completely. The main vote bank of one of the troop (JDU) of this new government consisted mainly of Bhumihars, Kurmi - Koiri and other extremely backward castes. While the second troop (BJP) has its vote bank full of Vaishya and other affluent castes. This Government of baronial values kept an extremely cruel and careless attitude in delivering relief to the victims of disastrous flood, for some two months. And in this matter the politics of both ruling and opposition parties was of a very low class caste based one. In spite of all these, Bihar’s journalism was not only silent on this cheap politics but also there was a competition within itself for portraying the flood’s ravages as low as possible and the flood relief work of State government as exaggerated as possible.  

This accursed wallowing of Journalism initially encouraged us to carry a survey on geographical background of journalist working in Patna. One question before us was that whether among the journalists working in capital Patna, were there only a few counts of people actually hailing from the flood affected Districts near Kosi? Was this the only reason why, unlike their professional needs, they were so less sensitive to the flood affected people.  Our work began. We thought of it to be quite easy. We thought that two to three friends together will be easily able to deal with it. But that part of earth where the primary identity of a human being is his caste, there even education and geographical backgrounds are all secondary type of introductions.  If we used to ask one journalist about the native district of another journalist, some used to answer Bhojpur, other used to refer him to be a native of Darbhanga. If we used to question any third journalist in order to obtain correct information he used to associate Nalanda with him as his native. But all three, who used to answer the unasked question about his caste, seemed to agree with each other on this matter. In some cases, it happened so that we asked a journalist friend about the occupier of Province Desk of some newspaper, and he answered as, “I know, but I am unable to remember his name, that guy who is kind of fair and has slightly grey hair. Is a Rajput. Is close to some Singh of some party.” What information about the geographical background of journalists would we have obtained, courtesy these answers!  When the enquiry about someone’s name results in an answer about the person’s caste and an information about proximity with a particular political leader accompanies as a bonus…

In this scenario we decided to expand the survey further on June 2009. Systematically a list was prepared of the state-level authoritative people of all media institutions. The columns regarding their name, home town, education, religion and caste were being filled with the help of information gathered from various sources.  In this, journalists of 45 institutions of Hindi and English were included, from which we were able to collect information about religion, caste sex etc. of journalists from 42 institutions only. We were somehow able to gather information about their hometowns also, but we could not succeed in filling even 5% of the education column. How embarrassing it is to even think that we live in a society where the intellectual class identified their colleagues not on the basis of their qualification or other personal attributes but on the basis of caste.

In this survey the result of authoritative people’s ethnic background has already been mentioned before. Results of survey on geographical and cultural background will be issued separately.

Search for the presence
 

The deprived section of people is not there at authoritative positions. But it's not that their presence is nil in Bihar journalism. Even if they have not become classroom Monitor they can be seen somewhere on the back benches. Many of them have also lost their thumb but even Dronas have not made a mistake to suspect the expertise of these Eklvyas. 
To test the presence of these sections in Bihar’s journalism (in addition to authoritative sections), we started some more detailed surveys. This time, in addition to the 42 institutions of Hindi - English media, 5 Urdu newspapers published from Patna were also included in the survey. Covering 230 journalists of 47 media institutions in the survey, we found that 73 per cent posts are captured by upper caste Hindus (Brahmin, Bhumihar, Rajput, Kayastha). OBC Hindus cover 10 percent; Muslims Ashraf 12 per cent and 4 per cent is covered by Pasmanda Muslims. The presence of women is about 4 per cent. We found only 3 Dalit journalists in media institutions of Patna (Table 1). The zero representation of backward castes on authoritative posts at times makes a misleading impression about their “representation” on lower posts.
This survey which ended on June 2009 included only those journalists who are connected to “news”. Feature and such divisions were not included in this. 20-20 journalists in descending order were chosen from those newspapers which employed a large number of journalists (Hindustan, Dainik Jagran, Prabhat Khabar and Rashtriya Sahara), while almost all journalists from other small newspapers were covered (the number ranging from 4 to 13 per paper). The same formula was applied to electronic channels as well. The heads of Patna division of Delhi and other metro cities based national media institutions were also included in this survey. Such daily newspapers, magazines, news channels and news agencies often have only one or two journalist posted in Patna. They all have been included in this survey.


Hindi print: 87/13 

87% of Journalists working in Hindi Newspapers, magazines in capital of Bihar belongs to Upper caste Hindu families. Of these 34% are Brahmin, 23% are Rajput, 14% are Bhumihar and 16% are Kayastha. Hindu backward - very backward, Asraf Muslims and Journalist coming from Dalit community is just 13%. In this the presence of Bihar's biggest caste Yadav is most, about 3% (Table 3). Other Journalist coming from OBC Class belongs to Vysya, Kushwaha, Kanu, Kewat, Kumhar and Chaurasia castes. Their presence is often 1-1%. In addition, any representation of other dozens of backward-most backward castes is neither seen in Hindi - English print nor in electronic Media. The participation of Women (High-caste Hindu) in Hindi Print is 1% (Table 4). 

English print: women's presence

The position of English newspaper resembles the one-eyed King. It has 7% women’s participation. The presence of 4% backward class’ women also grabs one’s attention. Hindu OBC's presence in Hindi print (9 per cent) is less than half compared to the English print (19 per cent). High castes Hindus occupy 75% of its share. Ashraf Muslims make up to 4%. Presence of Dalits is zero. (Table 3 & 4)

An interesting difference between Hindi and English print is in the number of Bhumihar and Rajputs. In comparison to Hindi print, the number of these two castes has declined more than half (11 per cent of Rajput and Bhumihar 6 per cent) here. English print is visibly dominated by Brahmins (36%) and Kaysth (21%). (In English print three Hindu OBCs, one Christian and one Ashraf Muslim (male) are in authoritative post too. In Hindi Print and electronic media, these positions are invariably occupied by upper caste men)

Electronics: 10 vs 90 

The slogan of martyred OBC leaders Jagdeo Prasad was – The rule of ten on ninety, won’t work/ Ninety are oppressed out of hundred, ninety parts are ours. It was 1971-72. Since then the river of backward politics of Bihar has lost a lot of water in it. But this section of the socio - political leadership has failed to identify ways to seize power of knowledge. Cultural power is not of any value for them. Jagdeo who claimed 90 out of 100 has a second slogan – 
RaiseBuffalo, Build arena, do politics. Lalu Prasad has spent 15-years refusing to understand the concept of IT. The backward leaders too spoke about education at times but due to various factors no one could proceed with literacy. 

However, the social scene of Hindi - English electronic media is mostly alike. 90 per cent of the positions are occupied by upper caste Hindus. Hindu OBCs are 7 per cent. Ashraf Muslims has 3 per cent representation. Although women are 10 per cent all hailing from upper caste Hindu families. Dalits here are absent altogether. (Table - 3 and 4) 
Urdu Print: Pasmanda movement effect 
Unlike Hindi and English print media, in many cases it’s pleasant looking at Urdu media instead. There are five Urdu daily published from Patna - Tanzim Qaumi, Rojnama (Rashtriya Sahara), Sangam, Pindar and Tanzim Faruki. Surprisingly, three of them - Sangam, Pindar and Tanzim Faruki - are owned by Pasmanda Muslims. Editor of these three are also from same communities. Right now it is quite impossible to imagine such a scenario for Hindi or English media. Indeed, the political movement of social justice for Hindus in Bihar has attained a dormant stage due to its internal contradictions. Whereas, Pasmnada’s movement is still a vibrant one. Last four - five years has witnessed its progress and influence. 
Backward Hindus 'social justice' movement has always assumed Muslims as a single unit and has always been engaged in tie ups with their Ashraf sections, and has taken care of their physical needs and has tried preserving their  religious eccentricity. In contrast to this, the social justice movement of Muslims - Pasmanda movement – has maintained a tendency to march forward with Dalit Hindus and other backward classes from Hindus. This tendency may have the potentiality to be the driving force behind a feasible and progressive social polarization. The movement's image appears on Urdu journalism also. The main aim of ‘Sangam’ has always been accelerating the Pasmanda movement. The editorial policy of ‘Faruki Tanzim’ and ‘Pindar’ has also somewhat been in favor of the movement. Whereas Syed dominated ‘Qaumi Tanzim’ and ‘Roznama’ have been directly or indirectly resisting the same. In Urdu newspaper, people from Ashraf class represented a total of 66 per cent, while reporters from Pasmanda (OBC) class had only 26 percent representation. Keeping these facts in view, it’s quite disturbing to note that in entire journalism, including Urdu journalism; Dalit Muslims and Muslims women have no representation. (Table 3 & 4).
One more regressive trend to note is that even Pasmanda led Urdu newspapers have not tried in loosening up the religious binding that don the day-to-day life of Muslims.
Table -1
Bihari Media
Consolidated statistics of Hindi, English, Urdu Print and Electronic Media (On normal positions apart from decision making positions)
1.       Upper caste Hindu
73%
A.      Brahmin
30%
B.       Bhumihar
10%
C.      Rajput
17%
D.      Kayastha
16%
2.       Backward and most backward castes
10%
3.       Dalit
1%
4.       Upper Caste Muslims
12%
A.      Syed
8%
B.       Shaikh
2%
C.      Pathan
1%
D.      Mallik
1%
5.       Pasmanda Muslims
4%
6.       Women
4%
A.      Upper Caste Hindu
3%
B.       Backward
1%
C.      Dalit
0%
D.      Muslims (Upper Castes/Pasmanda)
0%


Table -2
Population of Bihar
(Population of Upper caste Hindu and Backwards based on 1931 census)
Upper caste Hindu
13%
Brahmin
4.7%
Bumihar
2.9%
Rajput
4.2%
Kayastha
1.2%
Backward-Most backward castes(Backward-19.3%, Most backward – 32%)
51.5%
Yadav
11%
Khushwaha
4.1%
Kurmi
3.6%
Other castes
-
Dalit
14.1%
Aadivasi
1%
Upper caste Muslims(Upper castes Muslims constitutes 25% of the total Muslim population)
3.37%
Pasmanda Muslims(Pasmanda Muslims constitutes 75% of the total muslim population)
10.13%
OBCs are 70% of the total Pasmanda population
whereas Dalit muslims constitute 5% of it.


Table – 3
Breakup statistics of Hindi, English, Urdu print and electronic media (On normal positions apart from decision making positions)
Man-woman

Upper caste Hindu
OBC
EBC
Upper caste Muslims
Pasmanda Muslims
Dalit (Hindu)
Hindu Print
87%
9%
1%
0%
3%
English Print
75%
19%
4%
0%
0%
Urdu Print
8%
66%
26%
0%
Electronic
(Hindi/English)
90%
7%
3%
0%
0%
Total
7%
10%
12%
4%
1%



Table-4
Women in Hindi, English ,Urdu print and electronic media (On normal positions apart from decision making positions)

Total Women
OBC
EBC
Upper caste Muslims
Pasmanda Muslims
Dalit
Hindu Print
1%
0%
0%
0%
0%
English Print
7%
4%
0%
0%
0%
Urdu Print
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Electronic
(Hindi/English)
10%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Total
3%
1%
0%
0%
0%


Table -5
Editorial section of Dainik Jagran
(First five posts are considered as decision making positions shown in box)
Designation
Man/woman
Religion
Caste
1.       Local Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
2.       News Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
3.       Province desk in charge
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
4.       Bureau Chief
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
5.       Senior Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
6.       Chief Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
7.       Bureau Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
8.       Bureau Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
9.       Bureau Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
10.    Bureau Correspondent
Man
Islam
Syed
11.    Bureau Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
12.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
13.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Most Backward
14.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
15.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
16.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
17.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
18.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
19.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
20.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput

Relative information was taken secretly therefore there are possibilities of error)
Table -6
Editorial Section of Rashtriya Shahara
(First five posts are considered as decision making positions shown in box)
Designation
Man/woman
Religion
Caste
1.       Local Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
2.       News Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
3.       Province desk in charge
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
4.       Bureau Chief
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
5.       Chief Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
6.       Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
7.       Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Backward
8.       Chief Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
9.       Chief Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
10.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
11.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Dalit
12.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
13.    Correspondent
Woman
Hindu
Kayastha
14.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
15.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
16.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
17.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Backward
18.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
19.    Office Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
20.    Office Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin

(Relative information was taken secretly therefore there are possibilities of error)
Table -7
Editorial Section of Hindustan
(First five posts are considered as decision making positions shown in box)
Designation
Man/woman
Religion
Caste
1.       Local Editor
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
2.       Editor (Project)
Man
Hindu
Rajput
3.       News Editor
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
4.       Bureau Chief
Man
Hindu
Rajput
5.       Province in charge
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
6.       Chief Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
7. Coordinator special project
Man
Hindu
Most Backward
8.       Chief Copywriter
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
9.       Special Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Backward
10.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
11.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
12.    Senior Copywriter
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
13.    Senior Correspondent
Woman
Hindu
Rajput
14.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
15.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
16.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
17.    Senior Copywriter
Man
Hindu
Rajput
18.    Office Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
19.    Office Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
20.    Crime Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar

(Relative information was taken secretly therefore there are possibilities of error)
Table -8
Editorial Section of Prabhat Khabar
(First five posts are considered as decision making positions shown in box)
Designation
Man/woman
Religion
Caste
1.       Chief Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
2.       Working Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
3.       Local Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
4.       New Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
5.       Province in charge
Man
Hindu
Rajput
6.       Special Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
7.       Bureau Chief
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
8.       Chief Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
9.       Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Rajput
10.    Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Dalit
11.    Sub Editor
Man
Hindu
Kayastha
12.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
13.    Senior Correspondent
Woman
Hindu
Rajput
14.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
15.    Senior Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Brahmin
16.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput
17.    Copywriter
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
18.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Bhumihar
19.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Most Backward
20.    Correspondent
Man
Hindu
Rajput

(Relative information was taken secretly therefore there are possibilities of error)