The vernacular media in Andhra Pradesh is inflicted with the caste and power politics for the past four decades. The downfall began with N T Rama Rao launching the Telugu Desam Party in 1983. It was only one leading news paper that had taken the pro-TDP stand to hit at the Congress. This media house had personal issues to be settled with the Congress. This personal grudge against the Congress that had made the leading daily to move close to N T Rama Rao, initially.
What started as anti-Congress for the vernacular media had become a pro-TDP over the years. Though the Indian Express group of Ramnath Goeka too took anti-Congress stand at the national level, it did not favour any other political party and the differences were only to defeat the Congress in that elections that followed emergency. But, the anti-Congress stand taken by the Telugu media took the wild and unwanted shape of favouring one political party on the basis of one section of the people. As this leading daily continued this unhealthy practice, the other media houses joined the camp. Thus the TDP had formed a strong media base with the media houses headed by their own people. For these media houses, the TDP became greater darling than for those same TDP leaders.
The media thus provided positive coverage only to those who sail with the TDP and destroy the rivals. The Left parties too were the most favoured parties in the State only when they had tie up with the TDP. The watchdog of the democracy had become the watchdog of the ruling party.
Y S Rajasekhar Reddy made hue and cry of this media collusion with the TDP. His cries saw the birth of Sakshi media. However, Sakshi could not do much in exposing the nexus and had ended up in countering this media onslaught on Rajasekhar Reddy and later his son Jagan Mohan Reddy. Later on, the Sakshi group limited itself to providing coverage to Jagan Mohan Reddy as the media denied any such coverage.
The media had killed Praja Rajyam Party strategically. It had favoured Pawan Kalyan since 2014 only because he was with the TDP. Now, as he severed ties with the TDP and is training his guns on its leadership, the media is targeting him. The watchdogs of the ruling party have thus taken on Pawan Kalyan hitting him below the belt in different forms, including conspiracies.
The people who have been taking Jagan Mohan Reddy’s charges of “yellow media” lightly, are now taking it seriously when Pawan Kalyan began the attack.
It is good that the unholy nexus between the ruling party and the Telugu media is exposed by Pawan Kalyan and it is set to bring some reforms in the vernacular media. The media in Andhra Pradesh is expected to be watchdogs of democracy and not TDP at least from now.