Friday, April 07, 2017

Media Manipulation: India is a non-vegetarian country but false perception about vegetarian majority created

India is a country where over 70% people are non-vegetarians.

This newspaper in its lead story mentions, 'contrary to popular perception, majority of Indians are non-vegetarians'.

How innocent! It goes on to 'inform' us that 71% Indians are non-vegetarians.

So how this perception was created? This paper should have answered it.

The micro-minuscule communities, mostly of a cetrain caste group, who run the Hindi newspapers are traditionally vegetarians.

They do it with missionary zeal. Abattoirs are termed 'Qatl-khane', not 'Bucharkhana' or 'Salughterhouse'.

They do everything to target meat eating habits and link non-vegetarianism with 'tamsik pravrittti',  'violence, evil influences' et al.

This is [Rajasthan] Patrika, a mass circulated daily, which is published from half-a-dozen states and has huge circulation in Rajasthan and MP.

Similarly, Dainik Bhaskar is largest circulated daily in Rajasthan, MP and other North Indian states. These papers aggressively campaign against non-vegetarians. If there is a religious function, they publish half to full page reports, with headlines against 'non-vegetarianism'.

They run campaigns against slaughterhouses and force authorities to close them. The owners may not belong to caste that is even 1% of Indian population. But due to control over mass media, they are able to project 'set of values' and decide what is moral, what is immoral.

When right-wing groups demand shifting of meat shops, these papers side with them, openly take stand. The owners have NGOs and groups linked to them, who then hold candle-light vigils and support the movement.

The paper then publishes them prominently to create false perception that how bad non-vegetarianism is. They try their best to force the people involved in non-vegetarianism, out of their jobs. The paper tells that North Indian states have higher population of vegetarians are pro-BJP.

READ: 72% Indians are non-vegetarians, vegetarians are a minority, says RGI report

It is all a reflection of the same 'hegemony system'. You own papers that sell in millions and are read by common folk across villages. You run campaigns asking people to shun non vegetarian food, even try to stop giving eggs to tribal kids in 'angan-wadis', which not only affect their nutrition but also goes against tribals' age-old food habits.

But then, that's how it goes. The power of media. Unfortunately, people on the ground, fail to realise how easily this manipulation is done. Need of the hour is to take on these manipulators head-on and make them shed the facade of being 'unbiased' media houses. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cow vigilantes' terror in India: Pehlu Khan lynched in Rajasthan, Muslims constantly on the target

Once again, cow vigilantes have killed a Muslim man.

Pehlu Khan, a middle-aged man, had gone to buy bovines for milk.

Self-styled cow protection group members attacked Khan and his companions. The man was murdered in cold-blood.

Vipin Yadav, Kalu Ram Yadav and Ravendra Yadav--the three culprits have been arrested.

This horrific incident has occurred in Alwar district in Rajasthan.

The private militias, known as 'Gau Rakshaks' [euphemism for illegal extremist groups who kill innocents in the name of cow] are again responsible for the murder.

Khan who belonged to Nuh, Mewat had gone to buy bovines. On way back, the mini-truck was stopped by 'Gau-Rakshaks'. He showed the receipt that he had bought the cow legally.

But the 'Gau Rakshaks' attacked him, kept thrashing him until he fell unconscious. He was admitted to hospital where he died because of the injuries. The police didn't reach the spot until the incident occurred.

READ, WATCH VIDEO: How Cow Vigilantes' Terrorism Led to Pahlu Khan's death 

The incident has occurred in BJP ruled Rajasthan. Here, earlier too Gau Rakshak groups have attacked Muslims. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has failed to rein in the extremists.

Akhlaq, father of an armyman, was killed in his house at Bisadha near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh just on mere suspicion that there was beef stored in the fridge of the house.

Last year Minhaj Ansari was killed in Jharkhand.

Besides, a man, Mazloom Ansari, and a teenaged boy, Imtiaz, were hanged by Gau Atankis earlier.

Mazloom and Imtiaz' bodies were found hanging by the tree.

Clothes had been stuff into their mouths. Even this incident couldn't shake 'national conscience'.

They were cattle traders. The incident had occurred near Balumath, close to Ranchi. READ

The incidents have occurred across India--from Jammu and Kashmir to Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh to Haryana, Jharkhand to Madhya Pradesh and UP.

Clearly, law-and-order has collapsed in the country. India is becoming one of the most dangerous place for minorities, especially, Muslims. We must record what is happening around us. For, we don't know what future holds for us.

HERE ARE LINK TO SOME INCIDENTS

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Concerns over false messages spreading hatred through WhatsApp in India: Worries over impact on society, law-and-order and communal harmony

Daily dose of false propaganda, communal messages, videos and hate can wreak havoc.

'The message is the medium' is an important article on this subject, which tells us how similar propaganda led to the genocide in Rwanda where 8 lakh people were killed in just 12 weeks.

Sushant Singh's powerful piece should wake us up about the situation that is arising because of such propaganda, false messages, unverified videos that are forwarded--incident of another country, termed as an incident here and blaming certain groups, even imaginary and absolutely false stories to spread communalism.

"From early 1990, anti-Tutsi articles and graphic cartoons had begun appearing in the Kangura newspaper. In June 1993, the RTLMC began broadcasting in Rwanda. The radio station was rowdy and used language of the street — like any other popular radio station, there were disc jockeys, pop music and phone-ins. It was designed to appeal to the unemployed, the delinquents and the gangs of thugs in the militia...", says the article.

READ: The Message Is The Medium

"The transcripts of RTLMC’s broadcasts are available in Duke University’s International Monitor Institute. A lot of attention has since been focused on the radio station’s efforts to direct the extermination — broadcasts told people to “go to work” and everyone knew that meant get your machete and kill Tutsis.

But what has escaped greater scrutiny is the manner — by demonising the Tutsis and encouraging hate and violence — in which the radio station prepared the ground among the people of Rwanda for genocide. The transcripts reveal RTLMC’s efforts to claim authority over the telling of Rwandan history whereby the hardline Hutu extremists exercised a monopoly over the truth".

"If radio was a powerful medium then, where you only needed a transistor and a few batteries, we have the smart phone and WhatsApp today. In the past few years, several instances have come to light where communal clashes are being planned or instigated through false videos circulating on WhatsApp."

"The police acknowledged that WhatsApp groups were used to incite the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP in the run-up to the 2014 elections. The gau rakshaks, the Jat agitators, and protestors in Kashmir also take advantage of WhatsApp groups to organise themselves."

"The government has responded by banning internet in such instances, making India the global leader in imposing internet blackouts. That is a tactical solution which prevents immediate violence. But the graver challenge of creating a fertile environment of hate, round-the-clock, by distorted story-telling continues unabated. It is not just the poor and semi-educated who are taken in by the alternative narrative of political propaganda on WhatsApp. The educated elite are equally guilty".

The complete article is available at the Indian Express website

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How easily 5,000 people gather to kill in a country known for non-violence: Communal riot in Gujarat's Patan leaves two dead


Two persons were killed in the communal riot in Patan town in Gujarat.

The incident is alarming as the mob comprised of 5,000 persons.

Newspapers report that after a minor tiff between two youths belonging to different communities, the mob gathered and attacked a village where Muslims mostly live.

That 5,000 people could gather and attack to kill, shows the level of hate and communal divide in India. 

Ironically, in India, it is common to claim and pat ourselves on back for our being a 'non-violent society'.

People are simply turning more and more bigoted, ready to attack the 'other'. And, neither the political leadership, nor any social movement, has been able to de-radicalise people in this country.

The situation is extremely worrying. Here, there is no war or food scarcity like in some African countries, where thousands can turn attackers, all of a sudden. Yet, this keeps happening in India, again and again.

Truth is that it is one of the most violent societies in the world. The use of words like 'Ahimsa' or non-violence is limited to books, speeches and essays. The ground reality is that since 1960s, communal riots have killed hundreds of thousands in this country.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Don't get surprised, even Yogi Adityanath had Muslim supporters who rooted for him in UP

Yogi Adityanath will be chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

On social media, several people reacted as if something earth-shaking had happened and as if it was unexpected.

Why? Didn't you see it coming? Ahmed bhai had already sensed it and was supporting Yogi Adityanath even when the election campaign hadn't begun at all.

On the banner for 'Eid Milan', the slogan was 'UP Dol raha hai, Yogi Yogi bol raha hai'....'

Call him opportunistic or whatever, but there were guys who knew Yogi's time was coming.
And you call Muslims monolithic!

There were some who even said that they wanted Yogi at any cost.

"No BJP, Yogi first. We prefer Yogi", that was the slogan too in Gorakhpur and surrounding region.

So when the 'Hindu-wadi' leader had so much support even among Muslims, just imagine the support among Hindus!!!

We have seen the rule of GB Pant, Sampoornanand, the most hated UP CM Vir Bahadur Singh and Kalyan Singh.

Now, we will see Yogi Adityanath leading India's most populous state, too.