A slew of legislation that can transform India’s economy is being held hostage by politics that has become personal, bitter and acrimonious, HT Media chairperson Shobhana Bhartia said at an event at the London School of Economics (LSE).
“I have never seen such acrimony in politics. Legislation is being opposed for the sake of opposing it. It started about five-six years ago. It is very frustrating when Parliament does not function, when a slew of legislation is held up,” Bhartia said.
Speaking on a range of issues related to media and politics in India, Bhartia said in a conversation on Tuesday with Mukulika Banerjee, director of LSE’s South Asia Centre, that her experience as a Rajya Sabha MP had been a “learning experience”.
Unlike the long-established tradition of print journalism, television journalism in India had not yet matured and had “a long way to go”, she said. She regretted that at times, the print media followed the news agenda set by television channels.
Responding to questions from students and others in the audience, Bhartia said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “doing a good job” of hard-selling India to investors but growing intolerance in Indian society is sending “conflicting, very worrying signals”.
The LSE event provided a rare opportunity for students of a British university to be aware of challenges facing the business and ethical aspects of Indian journalism from the promoter of one of the country’s largest media groups.