It's television that is going to decide the
fate of these elections. Until just a few years ago in India the importance of
television was not as great as print or radio though it was catching up slowly
but steadily. Now it has passed both in importance and is a business worth a
In the last ten years television has changed the way politics is conducted. It has become a force to be reckoned with. It’s television that determines the popularity of a politician. It’s through television that local politicians gain fame and national stature. It has been calculated that in India there are over 500 television channels, in which more than 20 different languages are spoken. About 140 TV stations have their own news channel and another hundred have a political news programme.
Television stations are controlled by societies that represent the vested interests of the economy. All the large parties possess, or have a direct or indirect share in, a television channel. Recent complaints on the part of the Congress party and the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party that some channels have been giving too much space to “sponsored news” only go to confirm just how important television has become in this election campaign.