“I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.” Says Christopher Hitchens an English born American journalist, novelist and a literary critic. Well, probably every Indian has to go on to this stage of being a journalist to see for himself the reality of the news that spreads around him. Journalism in India is on the verge of a gradual breakdown and separation, where most of the mainstream carefully picks up the safe way of either broadcasting or hiding a part of the truth in the news based on the face value of the news and based on what draws the attention of the folk that consumes that news.And another part of the media fighting to get the real news out. This is one such try to show the double standard bias that has grown in the recent past in broadcasting news.
The issue in hand is the ‘Mob Lynching that happened on the 15th of October 2017 in Bangalore. Nandini, an animal rights activist, and a senior official in an MNC was attacked by a Muslim mob of over 100 people who were shouting pro-Pakistan slogans. The mob threw bricks and stones at her car and attacked her and even damaged the car for reporting illegal cow slaughter to police and trying to rescue the animals from the slaughterhouse.
Now let us look at the way the newspapers and media houses have reported it. Here are a few of the screenshots from the mainstream media houses and their discourse of the events that happened. Here are a few points to ponder upon1. None of the media houses calls it “An Islamic mob.” No newspaper tries to disclose the identity of the groups that attacked the lady.2. No reference or reports of ‘Pro Pakistani’ slogans raised by the attackers.3. Not even a word on the law and order lapse in the situation. The lady had lodged a complaint to the police regarding illegal cow slaughtering. And she had sought their help in looking into the same. The cops who were 12-15 in number (Based on witness accounts) didn’t accompany her. Only 2 cops were there at the scene.Some media houses have also cooked up stories alleging the women of being involved in an accident and then blaming this on the mob.
The set of questions that I have here are very simple.
- Why are media houses afraid of called a “Muslim mob” by its name? These are the same media houses which link 3-5 gaurakhshakhs to Hindus.
- Why aren’t they questioning the failure of law and order situation in Karnataka? Lynching, shouting Pro Pakistan slogans, assaulting a woman are very serious and grave issues. The government, its ministers or any senior officials of the state haven’t spoken a word about it. Today also marks the first death anniversary of RSS activist Rudresh who was killed by 5 members of the PFI group a year ago. That again is a display of the law and order situation in the state.
- No left-wing liberals, women activists have protested this issue on a massive scale. The opposition party has also condemned this issue on twitter and there is no outrage on this is the issue. Aren’t they worried about the safety of Hindu women?
- Why aren’t the police being questioned in this regard? Isn’t it a clear instance of carelessness from their part?
Why isn’t the Government being questioned about it?
These shameful and sad bias in media reporting has been the trend in the recent past! Are media houses afraid of broadcasting the real news? Are they worried about being the next Charlie Hebdo? Or is it a well-planned propaganda to silence the voices of the majority, and appease the rest just like the political parties do? Only time has to answer these questions.