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Role of Civil Societies & Media

Authored by - Shreya Yadav

Keywords - Civil Socities, Media, Political Space.


For the better functioning of the Indian democracy, the need for civil society and media is very much looked-for. The civil society is considered to be the third sector[1] of the society other than the private and government sector which enables the connection between the rural society with the government or the people who are aggrieved a voice is given by the civil society to be heard. The media is always known as the fourth pillar of the Indian democratic nation other than the legislative, judiciary, and executive. The factors such as corruption, unfairness, or authoritarian needs to be checked which is why the role of media comes into action, as they maintain transparency. Transparency is required to maintain unbiasedness in India in any aspect.

Role of Civil Societies

The DAC defines the “civil society” as “the political space between the individual and the government expressed by the membership of non-governmental organization[2]

The civil societies are majorly said to be non-profit which helps the people to have a voice in the society which if not provided they will not be able to put forth their grievances. The civil societies work for the people and maintain democracy in India. to put a check on the unbiasedness in the society or authoritarian of any government there is a need for civil societies. Comparing the current situation, the distinction between the civil societies being a third sector, not a government or private sector can be said to be diminishing as there are many instances of a mixed-up civil society which is not exclusively the third sector.

Many instances have been seen of civil societies fighting for the people or for certain changes required in the government or for passing certain legislations. Such as the Laxmi Acid case she started to work for an NGO through which a big change in the laws that is the ban of acid came through or the civil society on the Gandhian principle led by Anna Hazare for the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which even though not passed but was brought into the society by such civil societies.

Role of Media

Jawaharlal Nehru once stated that “I would rather have a completely free press with all danger involved in the wrong use of that freedom, than a suppressed or regulated press.”

The role of media is something we come across daily in our lives to connect with the world. Even though it is a profit-oriented sector but still it is for the people to make them aware of their surroundings and spread awareness. But if we look at the recent trend of the media we surely know one fact that in the past media was about stating the facts about the things going around in the world not about giving the judgment which nowadays is common about the media. For making profits the more masala they give to the people the more success they get which is the mantra of most of the news channels or newspapers and we cannot blame the media for it they are just serving what the viewers want to see or hear. Media can be said to be a medium to educate people, communicate with people or an instrument of expression.

Necessary for Indian Democracy

After the elections, the formed government does not have to go to the electorate for every decision and the concept of a referendum also does not exist in India such as Switzerland or Denmark due to a large population. For the voices of the people to be heard on the decisions taken by the government the need for civil societies and media comes into act.[3]

From all the above roles of media and civil society, one can derive that a developing nation like India the necessitate maintaining democracy it is a requirement to construct a free media and well built civil society to help educate the people, make them aware about the society and help the people who are aggrieved or so that their voices can be heard.

The active involvement of civil society empowers the citizens of the nation and makes the government more accountable to the society and the free media makes the spread of information helpful for the society that would not have been disclosed to the people if there was no free media. For the motto of democracy that is, “for the people, by the people and of the people” to flourish there is a requirement of active civil society and free media.


Information is regarded as the oxygen of democracy[4]. The media is said to be an essential part of society to spread information. Media being convincing it tends to mold the perception and outlook of people. Therefore, one can say that free media is the fourth pillar of a democratic nation. There cannot be an active civil society without the free media[5] which in simpler terms can be understood as when the media is free and spread awareness about the participation of non-government organizations for the betterment of society as a whole, there is an active civil society that comes in action.


[1] Shree Duwadi, D. (2019). Civil society and media: Give them their due. The himalyan times. Retrieved 22 August 2020, from

[2] Tagarev, T. (2010). Building integrity and reducing corruption in defense: A compendium of Best practices [Ebook]. Procon Ltd. Retrieved 22 August 2020, from

[3] Wood, H., Singh, D. (2017). Role of Civil Society in Indian Democracy. Retrieved 22 August 2020, from

[4] Chapter-5 ROLE OF MEDIA IN INDIAN DEMOCRACY. Retrieved 22 August 2020, from

[5] UKEssays. (November 2018). Contribution Of Civil Society And Media To Democracy Politics Essay. Retrieved from