Thursday, July 18, 2019

Shameful role of Hindi newspapers in spreading lawlessness, mob violence and hate crimes: How can goons be termed 'gau rakshak' or gau bhakt'?



Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Role of newspapers in giving legitimacy to lynchers and goons by calling violent mob as 'rakshak' [protector] or 'gau bhakt', is a common practice in North India.

In fact, this needs to be said clearly and more forcefully now as India has seen rise in hate crimes and mob attacks in recent years. There are circumstances that are created which embolden the members of these self-styled Senas and Dals. And vernacular media plays a significant role in it.

I will give an example. A couple of days ago in a city in MP, goons claimed that they got whiff of 'cattle transporters & meat trafficking', hence they gathered and attacked the transporters, beat them up. Subsequently, the injured persons were handed to the police.

But one of the papers on front page gave a headline that termed them as valiant warriors. This vigilantism and lawlessness was praised and the term 'gaubhakt' was used to make this act sound 'positive' though no police statement was mentioned in the report so that reader could have got the correct facts a bout the incident. 

Yet another Hindi paper that is based in UP, highlighted the vigilantes' excesses but still called them, 'gau bhakts' [See photo]. The 'gau rakshak' is not an honorific or a post for anybody taking law in their hands and committing violence. But newspapers term them 'gau-bhakts'--i.e. those who serve the cows or cow protectors.

A similar incident had occurred in Khandwa recently, when many people were accused of transporting cows. These people were beaten up, tied to a rope and humiliated. Those who committed this insane act are not shown negatively in Hindi media.

In fact, those people who were mistreated, beaten and humiliated, were seen as cow traffickers even though there was no police probe over by then or any proper briefing to media that whether they had documents or not (and whether transportation was an illegal act, at all!).


This was an unfortunate incident. The victims included mostly poor Hindus and a couple of Muslims too. But more than that, it is about human dignity.

Just think of it--Indian citizens were humiliated on their own land. How can anyone can beat them up, round up, force them to chant slogans and tie them up. It is cops' job to act or check papers or this has been outsourced to vigilantes!

However, the character and composition of newsrooms in Hindi media is such that there is always a clear bias and support for right-wing goons.

When Hindi media treats this sort of lawlessness as a positive act--majority of people in newsrooms support these Dals-Senas from their hearts, have power to create false perception, change opinion & such page 1 coverage pushes govt-cops to wall, what's the hope?

They write as if the vigilantes had the right to catch and beat the people. Just see the headlines and the reports, you will realise this sympathy and support, putting the vigilantes on a higher pedestal. Readers get impression that these vigilantes are doing something right. Also, in process the belief in system and police is affected.

Naturally when majority of people who form opinion on the basis of these mass-selling papers, read daily about gaurakshaks and the 'supposed bhakshaks', the biases are strengthened. Media in India can't escape the blame as it is responsible for the situation, for this divide in society, weakening the nation & institutions.

Multiple abortions, killing baby girls in womb doesn't affect media, politicians or society in India


Sumati as horrific dreams and wakes up traumatised in the middle of the night as the 31-year-old had to undergo seven abortions in the last 10 years of her married life because it was a female foetus every time. 

That's one of the biggest social evils plaguing Indian society--tens of millions of girls have disappeared in the last few decades. 

But no, TV and papers won't hold debates on it, they will raise the issue of Vande Matram or Nationalism, Talaq or Halala, to divert, even if at the cost of letting this regressive practice continue.

This is the real tragedy for India. Here, the real issues never get discussed in media and hence, society doesn't care about reforming itself. So what if 30 million girls have died because of this regressive practice!

The focus will be on one incident in which it will be a religious conflict--Hindu Vs Muslim, that will fetch TRPs for channels. The politicians who never tire from inflammatory speeches, and worry about the growth in Muslim population, and go on with their propaganda.

However, they will never express concern or raise awareness about such a critical issue. Why they don't care about deaths of millions of Hindu girls in the wombs? That's just a double-faced society and unfortunately that's the reality of this country and the media-politician nexus that promotes just one kind of discourse. 

LINKS to the report in English and Hindi newspapers about Sumathi's story. HERE and HERE.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

SHAMEFUL: Twitter India promotes hate-content, Islamophobia in India, refuses to act against hate preachers


Social media giant Twitter has failed to act against 'verified' users spreading hate in India.

Contrary to its claims that it has been tough on hate speech, Twitter has not even bothered to take action against users who pour venom.

One of the examples is Abhishek Mishra, who openly gave a call for economic boycott of Muslims in India.

This is not just hate and Islamophobia, but also breaking the law of the land. You can't discriminate against a fellow Indian citizen, this is against constitution.

No one can exhibit-practice such bias on the basis of caste, colour, creed or community. Besides, the user's comment is punishable under 153, 505 and 295 (A) apart from other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

In fact, the user Abishek Mishra, (@Abhishek_Mishra) who is associated with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), has made controversial comments earlier also. He has been consistently spreading venom against minorities in India. However, he is a 'blue tick' guy--who has a verified account.

Despite numerous users reporting the tweet, Twitter hasn't taken action against it. From IP Patel to Madhu Kiswhar, there is a long list of people who indulge in propaganda, fake news and false information that has potential to disturb law-and-order.

Such behaviour emboldens others who in turn spread even more hate and spread Islamophobia. Clearly, Twitter India is complicit and its role in promoting-protecting such content, must be put on record.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Banned terror outfit's attack killing lawmaker, 10 others got little attention in mainstream media



A banned outfit that has been involved in terror and violence in the past, attacked a legislator and killed 11 persons.

This incident occurred in Arunachal Pradesh. The legislator--Tirong Aboh, and his son were among the 11 victims in this daredevil terror attack.

Aboh had got warning from the outfit earlier too. It must be remembered that NSCN (IM) is a banned outfit in India, and hence its actions must be termed as terror attack just like other similar banned outfits.

When the incident occurred, national media didn't have any other big news. The Lok Sabha elections have been on for nearly two months. Now it was just the wait for results.

However, channels didn't focus much on the terror attack. There were tickers on some channels but no special story, no reports sent to spot from Delhi or Kolkata to get special stories. Nothing about the outfit, the circumstances about the incident and, of course, just no photos of the 'terrorists' on screens.

Generally, in most cases, TV channels show the sketches and photos. It earns them TRP. But in this case there was no interest. The next morning, newspapers also showed similar disinterested. In some papers, it was page 1 story but with no insights, plain reporting and a day later, no more follow-ups.

LINK: 11 killed in terrorist attack on MLA's cavalcade in Arunachal Pradesh, legislator and his son dead

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Menace of Maoist Terrorism: 15 commandos' deaths in Maharashtra, Five including MLAs killing in Chhattisgarh

Deadly attacks by Maoist terrorists on security personnel took place in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, in recent weeks.

First, in Chhattisgarh, a BJP MLA was among those killed when his convoy was targeted in the Bastar region. Then, 16 persons including 15 commandos and a driver, were killed in the IED blast in Maharashtra.

These were apart from other attacks by Maoists in this period. However, the killings of security personnel that are otherwise played in media, didn't evoke much response on these occasions. Just a few months ago, deaths of CRPF personnel in Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) prompted nationwide anger.

In the case of Kashmir, TV channels just didn't let the incident go and kept showing the visuals for days and nights, until there was such outrage that across India, people took out rallies. In almost every city and town, youngsters came out on streets.

This also led to attacks on Kashmiris. What was the fault of Kashmiris living in other cities or hostels or students, traders in Meerut or Lucknow? But when the Maoists set off blasts in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, TV channels didn't have much time.

No questions are asked as to how so much explosive reaches these forests. Or, how Naxalites continue to get the weapons. Just a few days later one or two persons may be killed in an encounter and the 'claim' of killing conspirators are accepted in the press.

These incidents were not given focus though Pulwama had seen nonstop coverage. In the case of Naxal attacks, there was no report about identity of killers and there were no discussions. The focus remained on Lok Sabha elections.

Neither reporters talked about last rites of martyrs or cared about the compensation or how bodies reached the homes. This is strange. In case of Maoist terror, there is no seriousness and unfortunately for TV channels -newspapers it is just another attack.

LINKS:
1. No end to terrorism as Maoists kill 16 in terror attack in Maharashtra. CLICK
2. BJP legislator, security personnel killed in terror attack in Chhattisgarh. CLICK

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Communal reporting, Islamophobia in Hindi newspapers: Nav Dunia peddles propaganda, brands Muslims as infiltrators

This is just a reflection of how Islamophobia and branding Muslims, goes on in Hindi newspapers in Northern India.

This report tells that all 'ghuspaithia' [infiltrators] are Muslim--totally one sided view and peddling the BJP-RSS propaganda.

The illustration shows a man who has to 'appear a Muslim'. So this man is shown here wearing a skullcap. He is a Muslim, so he must have a beard and also because the 'Islamic colour' had to be brought, the kurta was painted green.

The man shown is poor but still his footwear has nails--for hurting our land! Everything has been done to create perception of an 'enemy'.  It is clear cut case of Islamophobia and showing Muslims in a negative manner.

Such hate is causing attacks on Muslims. It is high time communal reporting is contained and there is check on it. It is this image of a 'Muslim' that is being persistently pushed into the minds of the people.

The paper also goes on to support NRC, though it is not an editorial. The entire page doesn't at all tells why people migrate and why Hindus from other countries are being given preferential treatment in citizenship.

For these papers, it is not an issue why people come from Nepal or from other countries. And if at all they come from Bangladesh, what's the reason. For the paper, it's just nothing but taking the RSS line without using any brains.

This is horrific level of one-sided propaganda and gutter-level journalism. Further, this is being published just when India goes to polls. Unless people object, raise voice, speak to media house owners, drag them to panels, this won't stop.

In fact, his is the biggest threat to Indian democracy. The newspaper owned by Dainik Jagran group. In most cities of MP-Chhattisgarh, it sells as 'Nai Dunia' but due to a 'title issue', in Bhopal, it is called 'Nav Dunia.