India is a vast South Asian country, not only with diverse terrain stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean Coastline but also with significant socio-economic contrasts. It is understandable how the media misrepresents India because it tends to shed light only on the rural and urban poor and the struggling.
With a population of more than 1.3 billion, there are stories of unfortunate and inhuman events that occur in the country but those events don’t represent India, as a whole. India needs to be looked at through fresh lenses to dispel the following ideas.
How the Media Misrepresents India
- Poor India: India is a developing country with 22 percent of its population living in poverty, but only about 5 percent of the Indian population lives in slums. The International Monetary Fund confirmed that India will be the fastest-growing major economy with a growth rate of 7.4 to 7.8 percent in 2019. In terms of GDP, India is now the world’s sixth-largest economy.
- Uneducated Nation: This is another example of how the media misrepresents India, as an uneducated country. India has more than 1.5 million schools with more than 260 million students. Currently, India produces about 9 million graduates and 26.5 million students enrolled in Indian higher education per year. The country is set to produce the world’s largest number of engineers. The first ever Global Report commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Prize has revealed that 80 percent of Indians aged 16 and 17 have shown interest in engineering, compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 20 percent in the U.K.India is also the only country after the U.S. and Japan to build a supercomputer independently. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also became the first country to orbit around Mars on its first attempt at a cost of just $74 million, which is just a fraction of what other nations have spent.
- Dirty and chaotic: The media overlooks the fact that the country has luxury malls and hotels too. The number of malls has increased drastically in the past few years. With no malls in 2002 to 308 malls in 2017, India has improved a lot. The Government is also taking various actions like Swachh Bharat to bring out a better and clean India.
- Bollywood is a Zumba class: The Indian film industry is actually the largest film industry in the world, releasing more than 1,000 films each year. In 2015, there were two thousand multiplex theaters and the following year, 2.2 billion movie tickets were sold, which makes the country the leading film market in the entire world. Indian movies are not Hindi movies alone, but a variety made in different states and in different regional languages.
These are just a few examples of how the media misrepresents India. Hopefully, in the coming years, the media will shed more light on the brighter side of the country.
– Shweta Roy