5 most essential Conditions for the Expression and Formation of Public Opinion

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These may be discussed as follows :

1. Public Opinion must be Educated:

Ignorance born of illiteracy is curse for social life. In the absence of adequate and proper education a person is incapable of making his contribution to the community of which he is a member. He cannot form an intelligent and rational opinion and is guided by passions and sentiments. With a view to educating public opinion, liberal rather than sectarian or communal education must be imparted in schools and colleges.

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2. Eradication of Poverty:

Poverty is curse. It must be eradicated. The State must guarantee to its citizens an economic minimum with which they may maintain a reasonable standard of living.

The distribution of wealth must be equitable. Pre-occupied with the struggle for existence, the poor cannot have sufficient leisure to be able to devote their attention Public affairs. They cannot, therefore form any sound opinion. They are easily misguided by vested interests.

3. Presence of Harmony of ‘Interests among the people:

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Har­mony of interests among the people of a country means unity. They should not be sharply divided among themselves on the basis of narrow communal and sectarian considerations.

They should realize that religion which is a personal affair should prevent them from living in peace, goodwill and harmony with persons professing other faiths.

4. The Press must be Honest and Impartial:

The Press should be honest and impartial. It is the most important organ that informs, educates, formulates and expresses public opinion.

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It must do this task honestly and impartially. It should not be influenced by religious, capitalistic, sectional, regional and communal interests. People should have a regular supply of authentic news without which they cannot form a correct judgment. In the absence of authentic news, their opinion is bound to remain partial and misguided.

5. Political Parties in the Country must be Based on Sound Principles:

Political parties in a country must not be formed on the basis of religious, sectional or racial differences. They must, on the other hand, be based on sound principles of political and economic pro­grammes.

This will enable the people to form right judgment and opinion. In the ultimate analysis, a sound public opinion is bound to solve the political and economic problem of a country. They must develop healthy conventions and present facts truly before the people.

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They must appeal to the reason and not sentiments and emotions of the voters. They may criticize one another’s programme but must not display acrimony against one another.

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