Tuesday, May 28, 2024

UP Election Surveys and Mayawati . Is Media Brahmanical?

Hariram Ram

Mayawati has alleged that the media actively discriminates against her party, calling media organisations Brahmanical.

A Brahmanical media?

“Mayawati is right,” says sociologist Badrinarayan. “She has been pushed to the margins. People are talking about her now when she entered the fray. Somebody claimed that the BSP will get 24 out of 50 seats. As a matter of fact, the media does not understand the BSP. Due to this, it only focuses on the political strategies of other parties. If you don’t visit the villages, how can you present the true picture? Opinions formed at tea stalls are different from those formed in cities. A complete picture emerges only when opinions are collected at all levels.”

“Mayawati is right, but it is not done on purpose,” says Abhay Kumar Dubey, member of the Centre for the Study of Developing Society. “As far as CSDS is concerned, its surveys do not intentionally show BSP lagging behind.”

However, JNU professor Vivek Kumar agrees with Mayawati. “Look at the facts,” he says. “All the opinion polls show BSP in a negative light. What she is saying is true. It is well known that her voters are not in cities. How deep inside the villages do the pollsters go? They never say. Even in cities, do they go to slum areas? The survey sample is not representative, which is why the results are skewed. Secondly, a debate around perception is built by showing speeches of several BJP leaders but only Mayawati for BSP. It appears to be a well-thought out strategy of the media.”

Dilip Mandal, a journalist working on Dalit issues, says, “It is true that none of the opinion polls have so far shown Mayawati or Lalu Yadav in the lead. Usually opinion polls and surveys lean towards specific political parties. The rising forces in politics or the subaltern voices are not presented that way. It is possible that the surveys are honest and the voters of these parties are not as vocal. But if it continues this way, it only seems like a pattern. Why is it happening? Those conducting surveys must seriously think about it. In a diverse society like India, if the sampling is not done correctly, a fair survey cannot be conducted. Secondly, there is a pressure on the voter to speak in favour of a particular party, owing to the distrust media faces today.”

Republished from Facebook

Hariram – Former Faculty at NMKRV College for Women , Bengaluru


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