Dr. Sonam Dixit
Chicago, USA: From 7th September to 9th September, under the umbra of World Hindu Congress, the Hindu Media Conference is organised by the Hindu Media Forum (HMF). It brings together journalists, bloggers, media house executives, public commentators, and observers to share ideas and experiences to discuss challenges and opportunities in emerging forms of media and evolving strategies to keep the world better informed through accurate, authentic and unerring reportage and analysis of events happening in the Hindu world.
Hindu Media Conference, World Hindu Congress coordinators Shri Sushil Pandit and Shri Vikas Deshpande will present the introductory remarks. This session will discuss how the current main stream media establishment view and opine on the Hindu movement and Hindu resurgence as a regressive trend. The media generally paints anything Hindu as regressive and use it as a moral equivalence to bail out extremists of all shades and persuasions. Most of the main stream mass media has an inherent and strong prejudice with regard to Hindu cause such that little or no time is devoted to even the ongoing Hindu genocide, leave aside the everyday discriminations, which Hindus face across the world. In this section of the congress, the discussion will follow on the current state of news media about Hindu cause, how to engage with the media houses to bring out unbiased views about Hindu and Hinduness. Apart from that there will be discussion on how media consumption is changing and what kind of opportunities and challenges this change will bring.
Also, the role of social media in educating the people about the biases of main stream news media will be topic of discussion in the subsequent sessions. This will bring to fore the importance of social media and how it can be utilised and manoeuvred to counter/challenge the strong left liberal distortion of Hindu narrative that is deleterious to Hindu interest. In this regard it should be also noted that instant misperceptions due to fake news and data misuse on the social media platforms is creating a serious challenge.
Entertainment media notably cinema and popular songs can be effectively used to create a strong narrative of Hindu culture and philosophy and not only making our own society aware of its’ hoary past and roots as well as educating the world at large. However, the current record of the entertainment industry is dismal with regard to representation of Hindu ethos. The section on entertainment media will focus on the strategy how to bring creative content accurately depicting cultural stories, history and social contributions of the Hindus.
The final session will be on the Hindu identity in the era of multiculturalism and globalisation. The discussion will on how to positively influence mass consciousness and Hindu psyche. This is important in the background of colonization and freedom struggle and subsequent march toward Hindu revival and renaissance. All this becomes more important due to the recent trend in historical revisionism, re-interpretation of historical events, characters and social norms and values to suit a certain agenda or narrative.
Introductory remarks will be made by Shri. Sushil Pandit on News Media and the Hindu Perspective. Shri R. K. Sinha, Hindustan Samachar, Bharat will deliver speech on,”Art of persuading the case during live debates”. Editorial Director, Swarajya, Bharat; Shri R. Jaganathan will speak on,”Making non –partisan views in partisan dialogue”.
The technology session will be chaired by emiment Film maker, Former President of Reliance Entertainment Network, Bharat, Shri Amit Khanna; Shri Aadit Kapadia, Co-founder, Mylndmakers, USA will express his view on the community outreach via online media and podcasting. Smt Prerna Lau Sien CEO, Vaahan Political Magazine, UK will speak on the current status and future trends in the Print Media.
Social media and Hindu Interest session will be chaired by Shri Avatans Kumar, PR and IT consultant, USA. Smt Sunanda Vashisht, Writer and Columnist, USA will speak on the Hindu Dharma, Bharat, Geo-politics and social media. Smt Shefali Vaidya, Author and Blogger, Bharat will share her experiences on how to stand for a cause while dealing with fake news and trolls. Shri Sree M Iyer, PGurus online platform, USA will express his views on providing unbiased news with independent thoughts and knowledge while serving the NRI community.
In the entertainment media section, Shri Anupam Kher, National award winning actor, Bharat will deliver keynote lecture and express his views on entertainment industry and representation of Hindu values. The session will be chaired by Shri David B Cohen, Attorney and columnist, USA. Shri Vivek Agnihotri, Film maker and Author, Bharat will share his experiences on role of entertainment media while searching social realities. Shri Madhur Bhandarkar, National Award winning Film maker, Bharat, will discuss the topic whether Media represent the society or vice-versa.
The final session in the media section will be chaired by Prof. Makarand Paranjape, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, Bharat and focussed on Hindu identity in the era of Multiculturalism and Globalization. Shri Amish Tripathi, Author, Bharat will speak on how to effectively retell ancient stories with modern style and making our youth aware about the hoary past. Prof. Prasenjit Basu, Economist, Singapore will share his thoughts on integrating Hindu ethos in global economy. Shri Francois Gautier, Editor in Chief, La Nouvelle Revue de I’Inde, Bharat will deliver speech on documenting the historical facts while being an independent voice.