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.