Code of Conduct for TV Debates: For sharing diverse opinions rather than verbal violence

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Code of Conduct for TV Debates: A platform for sharing diverse opinions rather than verbal violence

Recently, an unfortunate incident happened just after a live TV debate. One of my fellow spokesperson Shri Rajiv Tyagi Ji passed away due to Cardiac Arrest. Rajiv Tyagi Ji’s wife said that his last words to her was that “These people have abused me; these people have killed me”. As a fellow spokesperson, I can relate to the pressure he might have faced during these debates. This pressure is not only on us as participants, but it is also putting negative impact on the mental health of viewers of these debates and damaging the social fabric of the country at large.

While most of the parents in India are busy watching such prime-time debates on their television, there are plenty of kids who happen to sit along with them. What kind of language, knowledge, process of argument and conflict resolution these kids are learning? There is surely a negative impact on our children when they see people making personal remarks to solve the conflict on the issue rather than peacefully voicing their opinions with facts and logic. The title of these debates is chosen such that either it will create a divide in the society, or it propagates one sided view on the issue. Also, the topics are chosen such that it increases the morbid feelings of hate, bias, inequality, discrimination, superstitions, and verbal violence on the name of disagreements within the viewers. Never had I seen these channels talk much on the logical topics like New Education Policy, Change in Environment Rules, Growing Unemployment etc. The thoughts and opinions expressed in these undemocratic and hostile debates is corrupting the views of the future generations. We are putting our kids to such a risky exposure.

There is no control on these debates at all and not even any censorship or rating system or age restrictions. These channels should become hyper aware of the responsibility they have while broadcasting their shows. Not just increasing aggression, these debates have also made us numb to the pain of others. Where hurting others is a matter of pride and patriotism. While in true sense expressing your views, your truth with non-violence is the essence of democracy.

If we do not request for a code of conduct for these debates, it would have long term consequences on our society. Let us demand a Code of Conduct towards these TV debates. So that debates become a platform for knowledge creation, expression of diversity of opinion and balanced deliberation on topics which really affects us.

Let us take an action and sign the petition to put an end to it, once and for all if you care for our future generations and our social fabric.