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Selective & Communal Media outrage on lynchings but silence on riots is politics not news!

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As i write this petition, i have waited for a good number of hours to patiently observe the secular drama unfold in my country.

Bengal is burning. That is all we know of it from a select vanguard of powerful media narrative. We do not know whether Bengal is burning on its own accord or Bengal has been made to burn. We do not know who is burning whom in Bengal. We do not know who the victim is and who the perpetrator. And these are not isolated cases. These are cases of mob lynching and violence, arson and rioting.

What we do know of Bengal from media narratives is that the governor and the Chief Minister have clashed over the issue of control of law and order. Law and order is a state subject. The fact that the Governor had to intervene and the fact that the state machinery has had to roll out peace keeping force, exposes the very grim state of ground affairs in Bengal.

What we also know by now is that the taste of some tears is saltier than others for the media. This is the media which frames and fans debate in national TV channels and creates an atmosphere of calmness or chaos in the nation. The very same media is talking about Junaid and Akhlaq (may their souls Rest In Peace). But the media is quiet, tight lipped in discussing even one victim in the Bengal riots.

What we also know by now is that the blood of some people in this country is more precious for the artists and actors and civil society sensitive members than the others. Because one of these actors has started an online petition on this very platform naming Muslims and Dalits as a group, showcasing them as targets, by a ‘mob’. This mob is routinely defined irresponsibly by the counterpart media houses as Hindutva lynch mob, as Cow Bhakts. What this petition does is to further the propaganda that feeds on the communal nectar of implicit political interests – the interest of demonising one community and victimising the other.

It is shameful that an open propaganda is being peddled in a parallel universe of burning Bengal. I say parallel because the media and actors fed by this media consider it secular to name a Muslim victim but ignore a Hindu one. Because it is secular to shame a Hindu mob but shield a Muslim mob by epithets like ‘some people’.

It is shameful that misleading and hijacked protests in the Capital city of this country, given a glamorised sheen by actors hungry for publicity, have the nerve to take away the echoes of burning Hindu corpses and manhandled Hindu women from Bengal in a secular box and release those voices in a cacophony of communal voices dripping with hatred and bias against these victims.

I strongly urge the media Editorial guild in this country to take this letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Sh Narendra Modi ji, in order for him to have a look at this petition alongside the one being floated in social media and being publicised by this media fraternity at large.

India being a secular country cannot allow media to peddle communal agendas. We need a strong guideline from the secular government(s) at Union at State which either makes naming victims or perpetrators punishable or observe strict rules to report all cases with name and community tags.

India being a secular nation cannot allow social/civil/art/journalists/editors/ANYONE activist to take selective convenient names, quote selective reports and data from unverified sources to peddle propaganda. In the last few days we have seen India Facts openly declaring its reliance on data scraped from reported incidents of violence in media to feed into the whipped up hysteria by political interests in this country. Such interpretation and such quotes should be brought under the radar of legal scrutiny because it fans the feeling of alienation among a section of the population. It is not a rocket science to figure that most cases go unreported by the media just as most cases of rapes go unreported by women in this country. In the latter case, the victim feels ashamed of social boycott, in the former perhaps editors feel ashamed in being truly secular towards fulfilling their duties. 

India being a secular nation cannot allow the open advocacy of political propaganda in the name calling of victims. Just as rape victims are not named we either must not name riot, mob lynched victims or if we do, we met out the same privilege to all those killed, raped, butchered, hacked and murdered in Kerala, Bengal, Assam and Tripura among other places.

 

Jai Hind

 



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