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Indian Media: Talk facts not fiction, Oh Slanderers of Saints - On Sant Shri Asharam Ji Bapu' on Change.org

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Over the past few years, a smear campaign is being run against HH Sant Shri Asharam Ji Bapu. He is a world renowned and revered Saint who sees One Supreme Consciousness in every being. He is universally respected as the light-bearer of the Indian culture with millions of followers across the globe. His following is not without reason. His benevolent activities and spiritual discourses (“satsangs”) have uplifted and touched the life of many. He is constantly on the trot bearing only the benevolence of everyone in mind. To know more about the social initiatives undertaken by his ashrams Visit: www.ashram.org .

 

Many allegations have been levelled against HH Asharamji Bapu over the years and sensationalised by a section of the media in a very dramatic, insensitive, baseless and irresponsible manner. Saints are the pillars and advocates of any spiritual movement and we must not allow false allegations to taint the image of the spirituality and its staunch advocates in the wrong light. Over centuries, many have conspired to malign saints and their teachings. We want to point out that there have been several instances of misreporting and denunciatory adjectives used by a section of the media to mislead, inflame and instigate their readers/ viewers against Pujya Bapuji and his Ashrams.

 

 The latest piece is of the case filed by a teen against Bapuji, alleging rape. When the case came to light, there was a lot of noise created and every channel and newspaper made this THE news, clouding the more important ones like slide of the Rupee and Coal scam etc. Initial investigations by the Jodhpur police reveal that

 

1.      This is not a rape case. Even the victim never alleged rape. The police have admitted that the Delhi police have wrongly applied the charge of rape against Bapuji.

2.      Medical reports of the victim do not reveal any incidence of sexual assault in the nature of rape or even attempt to rape.

Funnily when this new information came to light, none of the news channels/ papers/ websites except one reported this. Isn’t this a “development” in the case that was trending on their very channels and reports just a few hours age. Since then the clamour around this case seems to have died down, leaving the common man to draw his own conclusions. The base for common man drawing any conclusion about this incident would automatically based the earlier reports based on assumptions and fabrications made by a section of the press. Is this responsible reporting?

 

This allegation is a serious one and its irresponsible of the media to start making assumptions even before the investigations began. Registering FIR does not mean crime has happened. Even more irresponsible, is to not correct their own statements in the light of the new developments as reported by the investigating Jodhpur police. Is then the claim by devotees of Indian saints accurate- when they say that the media is merely a puppet and constantly on the rampage to denigrate saints and shake up their faith and belief.

Some more examples of grave allegations and irresponsible reporting against Pujya Bapuji and selective news coverage by media on outcome is shown below:

 

Allegation: Tantra Vidya practiced in Ahemdabad Gurukul. 

Final Outcome: Students, Parents, CID, Retired Judge Enquiry Commission and Supreme Court of India rejected any such assertion.

Media Response to the Outcome: None

 

Allegation: HH Bapuji said the Damini was as guilty as the perpetrators in Delhi.

Final Result: No takers for the Rupees 50 lacs ($100K) award to anyone proving Bapuji indeed said that. 

Media Response to the Outcome: None

 

Allegation: Water wasted by Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu in Holi. 

Final Result: Zero response to Bapuji's challenge to match any concerned media house's contribution for drought multiplied six times.

Media Response to the Outcome: None

 

New Allegation: Rape case/Character Assassination of Pujya Bapuji. 

New development: Now section of media reports that Pujya Bapuji wrongly booked in this rape case.

Other Slandering media’s response to the Outcome: Just keep repeating same allegation with adding old unproven allegations. 

 

We as citizens, must be alert and evaluate the juggernaut of misleading information presented to us. We should raise our voice against these forces that seem to be diverting us from natural inquiry and reasonable enquiry, the marks of a healthy mind and society.

 

Of all the above, the recent allegation is on Pujya Bapuji’s character? Will one tolerate if these allegations were made against your own Grandfather?

 

It’s the responsibility of the media to not manipulate facts and always bring the true picture in front of their subscribers. They should always keep in mind that whatever is portrayed by them has a great impact on the minds of the readers and their credibility is at stake. Media has been given the right to expression by the Constitution of India and they should not misuse the same. Some conspirators for their own benefits misguiding the public and media is becoming the victim in their hands. Even this time around, the media has crossed all limits of responsible journalism and has been at its inflammatory best.

We doubt the intentions of such newspapers/ channels as their coverage is deeply prejudiced that it threatens to destroy all notions of responsible and balanced reportage. Strict action needs to be taken against such newspapers for flagrantly violating codes of journalistic ethics and to make them accountable to society at large. We invite you to join us in our plea by signing this petition.



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