Mass communication, Science

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Mass communication:

The well-known exponent of  the role of mass media in development, Dr. Wilbur Schramm, who headed a team of experts  to advise  the development of  infrastructure  of  information in  ~ndia  and the establishment of  thg  Indian Institute of Mass Communication  had a meeting with our first Prime Minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, in  1962. Later, Schramm described the meeting in  these words: "This was on an afternoon when Mr. Nehru was relaxed, happy. He asked me, By  the way what is this mass communication?  I  do not think 1 understand it very well' and I  said 'But Mr. Prime Minister,  you  are the chief mass comrllunicator of India'. I mentioned the crowds of hundreds of  thousands,  books and broadcasting. He  threw back his head and laughed, 'Oh  that' and said, 'I  guess I  do know something about  it'.  Nehru poked fun  at the electronic system, the loud-speakers  that would not work or given  out of order before half of his long speeches were over. Then he said something that I  never  forgot. He  said, "This  will help us  to talk together" Wilbur Schramm, later, underlined the words-'this  will help us to talk together'.

The words are important, because they bring out the meaning of  inter-personal communication in Indian society and indicate the emergence of mass communication,  i.e., communicating with a large number of people. As you perhaps know, mass communication  in India began without the use of electronic media, like radio and television. The beginning can be traced back to communication within a social group. For example, a village panchayat has been and continues to be a centre. Similarly, religious gatherings, whether at a place of worship or when organised on special occasions have, from time immemorial,  functioned as centres of communication.  Then, there are any number of  fairs and melas where people in large numbers gather together  to, communicate on a variety  of  subjects.


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