Marx would have termed TV, social media as opium today : IAS Manoj Shrivastava

Bhopal : Karl Marx had said ‘religion is the opium’ when there was no television or social media in the world. Had he been alive today, he would probably have called television and social media as ‘opium’ of today’s society. Today, people have got addicted to television and social media. Today, they spend almost same amount of time on these mediums as they spend in their works. These views were expressed by the Principal Secretary of the Culture Department of the state, IAS Shri Manoj Shrivastava while addressing a two-day national symposium on the subject, ‘Value-based Communication and IT’ in Bhopal on Saturday.

Shri Shrivastava was present as the chief guest of the symposium which is being organised by Government of Madhya Pradesh and Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication. The symposium is being organised as a pre-dialogue for Singhasth-2016. Vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Brij Kishore Kuthiala was presiding over the inaugural session.

Shri Shrivastava, in his address, said that social media has given freedom to the expression of the people as a result of which every writer, poet and litterateurs has got a platform to showcase their creation to the world and comments on public lives are not restricted to the four walls of the houses but they come to the fore. At the same time, he underlined that social media creates a delusion of intimacy and friendship. And this net is taking us away from our offline friends.

He said that today, people feel as if they are surrounded by stings and screens all around and are looking for solitude away from the sounds of the television. He said that earlier, only those going to different states and countries would were away from their homes while today, people away despite being at home due to television and social media.

Vice-Chancellor of the Journalism University, Prof. Brij Kishore Kuthiala while presiding over the inaugural session of the symposium said Kumbh fairs are not merely a religious gathering. It is neither organised with a view to wash out our sins by taking dip in the holy rivers. He said that the event has a broader purpose to serve i.e. to take the stream of knowledge and wisdom to the common men of the society and to give a push to the development of the society on various fronts. At Kumbh, one looks for various answers of the questions arising within oneself. Keeping this tradition in mind, it has been decided to create an intellectual environment in the country through extensive consultations and symposiums before Singhasth to determine what should be the values for life.

The vice-chancellor, citing someone’s creation, said that today, in addition to the three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi, there is a fourth one too who has smartphone and internet in its hand who has been asked ‘post no evil’ on the social media. Prof. Kuthiala emphasized on the need for consultation for determining values for media and information technology. He said, “Today, media would also have to reckon if it wants to follow the language of the young generation, consitute the major chunk of their viewership, who themselves are in process of understanding and learning the language or it adopts the language of the intellectuals and the scholars.”     

The inaugural session was coordinated by head of Mass Communication Department of the university, Sanjay Dwivedi.

In the other two session on the first day, speakers who included well-wishers of the media, media educators, senior journalists and others threw light on the different aspects and said that the values of the professionals working in media and IT sector must be in the good of the nation and the society.

Vice chancellor of Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism, Raipur, Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, in his address, said that values are of two types i.e. universal and individual. While the first one applies equally for one and all the second one varies from person to person and profession to profession. And everyone should perform their duties keeping both these values in mind if the universal peace and prosperity is to be achieved.

The other dignitaries who shared their views on the subject were PR expert, Subhash Sood, senior journalist from Delhi, KG Suresh; senior journalists from Chandigarh, Rakesh Sharma, Ashok Malik, Kushal Singh and Dr Nimo Dhar, Vinod C Agrawal, Dr MR Patra, Vishvesh Thakre, Mamata Ojha, Prof. CP Agrawal, Dr. Anurag Seetha, Dr. P Shashikala, Prof. Gurudutt, Dr. Shahid Ali, Dr. Shrikant Singh, Dr. Pavitra Shrivastava and Dr. Monika Verma. The second session of the first day was coordinated by head of the New Media Technology Department, Dr. P Shashikala, the third session was coordinated by coordinated by head of APR Department, Dr. Pavitra Shrivastava and the last session of the day was coordinated by Surender Paul.

The second day of the symposium on Sunday would see discussions on values for media professionals like editors, deputy editors, reporters, writers, filmmakers and others.    
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