Media has not lived itself to be the fourth pillar of democracy. Instead we are today faced with a kind of systematic ‘brainwashing’ of the electorate which is an anathema for democracy. I have blogged elsewhere on the misadventures of the media. Media can never be a substitute for the citizens of the state. It however is a powerful tool with the people to express their interests and also helps to bring together people with like interests.
So, who or what should be the fourth pillar of democracy, the other three being the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. In the recent past, we have seen a vibrant civil society coming to the fore in the Indian political scene which with the help of media can better be called as the fourth pillar of democracy. Since civil society organisation is like a ‘democracy within democracy’, there is little probability that this pillar will be hijacked by vested interests. Civil society, the microcosm of ‘the people of the country’ and ‘well wisher of the citizens’ can be a good pressure group to balance the powers between the other three organs of the state.