Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bihar court blast not termed terrorist act: Urgent need to stop distinguishing crimes on the basis of culprit's religion

On Friday, a blast in a court in Bihar led to two deaths and 17 persons getting injured. 

But wasn't termed a terror act, either by the police or the media. Reason?

Immediately after the blast, it was clear that the woman responsible for the act, did not fit into the 'criterion' (she was not a Muslim*). 

So it is just a 'crime' and won't be labelled as an act of 'terrorism', which would have led to round the clock coverage, talks about modules and Bihar becoming particular organisation's den or about handlers.

Cops say, 'no terror link'. What does that mean? Journos also parrot the same line. In a way its good that there is no scare, no panic caused through mass media. There are no indiscriminate arrests and detentions.

TV channels didn't stop other stories to show the incident for hours and hold panel discussions, there is no NIA teams rushing there, no senior spymaster's visit (unlike in Bardwan where no one was killed), papers just reporting it plainly without screaming headlines. 

The coverage of crimes in media and TV should also be balanced and similar. That reporters on National Security Beat would suddenly get active and start holding forth just because a crime is committed by a Muslim but ignore and pretend as if nothing has happened, if there is no Muslim connection, shows their hollowness and lack of professional ethics.

Real terror in public mind is created through coverage and by distinguishing acts of crime as 'crime' and 'terror'. All incidents of crime should be dealt with equal toughness, but without distinguishing the ideological motive or religion of culprits. 

Two posts on this blog on the same topic. How to defeat terror and stop getting terrorised, and the role of media in the entire issue.

[*Police identified the woman killed in Ara civil court as Rina Gaud of Ballia district in UP. She was known to 2009 Ara court blast convict Lambu Sharma, who escaped from custody after the explosion along with another rpsinoer on Friday. Reported Indian Express on January 25, 2015 ]

READ: 80 including 29 children killed in Bodo outfit's attack in Assam but this is not Terror

READ: Media's hysteric coverage leads to worldwide panic, just one madman enough to scare us?