Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ten recent terror attacks hushed up in media: Double standards, glaring biases in reporting acts of terrorism

It is unbelievable but true. At least, ten major acts of terrorism occurred recently that were either ignored or hushed up in media. At the end of this post, there is a list of all these incidents.

None of them were carried prominently in newspapers and TV channels. Forget, hours of debates in studios or follow-ups for days in print media, some of these cases were not considered to be worth a 'flash' in Electronic media.

It is not just about news from North East getting neglected. Some of these incidents occurred in big states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. In fact, one of the incident was near Chief Minister's bungalow. But did you even see a 'ticker' on your TV screen?

Six persons were killed in blasts near Nuclear plant at Koodankulam. Imagine, what can be bigger in terms of threat to national security? But it failed to interest TV channels. Papers didn't carry it on Page 1. Further, more explosives were found during the search later. 

But there was attempt to even report this news. For a country that has witnessed horrors of an industrial disaster like Bhopal gas tragedy, it was surely very serious. But the few papers that carried news on inside pages, diluted by terming bombs as 'low-intensity' even though six persons had been killed.

Often incidents in which no one has died is termed 'terror attack' but these incidents were not dubbed as 'aatanki hamla'. In the reports in newspapers, the words were carefully chosen. Often words like 'militant' were also missing.

Instead, one could find 'rebel' or 'insurgent'. In sharp contrast, there are incidents, when even 'suspected persons' were arrested for a possible crime, but they were termed Terrorist. Why? Just because in these cases, none of the extremist outfit had any Muslim connection? These are double standards in media that are really worrying.

Unfortunately, other incidents in which a Muslim person is either involved or suspected to be involved, are repeated for day. There is immense speculative reporting, followups and so much coverage--real and imaginary about links of suspects, that it creates scare in the mid of citizens.

No wonder, the image of one community is affected badly. Propaganda does a lot of harm. It injects hate in society.

The majority of the people form their opinion on the basis of what they see.

All terror acts must evoke similar reaction, should be treated with the same contempt and stern action.

There should not be any differentiation in reporting on 'blasts'. But this practice of not calling an incident as 'terror' and not the other even if the magnitude of latter is similar or higher, is unfortunate.

The stereotype of a particular group or section being terrorist is reinforced.
Can our media introspect? Will citizens realise it?

If an incident is repeated for days on TV and a scare is created, [while others hushed up] then it is also wrong. It helps the terrorists as their aim is always to divide society and create panic.

Unfortunately, the politicians-executive-courts-activists haven't taken note of these dubious practices in Indian journalism. What gets reported is seen and is believed. When other destructive acts are diluted, hushed up or ignored, then in public perception is clearly being manipulated--knowing or unknowingly, I don't know.


1. Five policemen were killed when the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) 'rebels' 'ambushed' a police vehicle in South Garo hills. A group of 25 militants lobbed hand grenades before opening fire at police. Now what was the headline: 'Cops shot dead in Garo Hills'. [November 5] See the LINK

2. Six persons were killed in Assam when 'militants' opened fire on a group of people on the day of Diwali. The incident occurred in Assam's Goalpara. The 'armed insurgents' swooped...and randomly fired with automatic weapons. The names of the victims is Bhola Nath, Amarendra, Jayanta, Puran, Kalpanath and L Rabha. [November 4]

3. Twin blasts occurred near Chief Minister's residence in Imphal, the capital of Manipur. Initial reports said that two persons died and seven others injured. Later, the figure of deaths went up to t hree These were IED blasts. The newspaper reports said that no 'insurgent' outfit has taken responsibility. [October 31]. LINK

4. Five persons injured in blast near a market complex in Manipur [October 30]

5. Seven persons were killed in a blast by suspected Maoists in Aurangabad in Bihar. A private vehicle in which they were travelling was blown up by a landmine. [October 17]

6. Three commandos killed and four others injured in a blats that was followed by indiscriminate firing by suspected left-wing extremists in Gadhchiroli in Maharashtra. [October 17]

7. Two BSF jawans and a civilian driver were killed when Maoists blew up their vehicles in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh

8. In an audacious incident, three GRP jawans were shot dead and two others injured, in attack on a running train in Bihar's Munger district [November 30]

9. SIX killed in blasts near nuclear plant at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu. LINK

10. Maoists massacred seven police officials in a landmine explosion in Bihar [December 3]

There are many other incidents like Naxalites issuing open threat to kill BJP leadeship in Bihar. Just think, how other such threats or even anonymous emails get attention in media. LINK

[I have written a lot of posts on this issue earlier also on this issue, HERE]