Thursday, February 08, 2018

How 'media mischief' ruins lives: Innocent Muslim girl termed 'bomber', her career ruined

That's the real power of pen, or byte, in our times--destroying lives.

Irresponsible reporting and you ruin lives just because you want to create sensation or because of your biases (communal) against certain sections of society.

A girl was wrongly termed 'fidayeen', 'a bomber'. On Republic day, the news flashed on TV screens.

All the major issues were now forgotten, and this 'sensational news' was on all TV channels.

But by next day, there were no follow-ups or any apology for wrong and misleading reporting.

So what happened to the girl? How she was termed a bomber? The fact is that there was not even an FIR registered in this case. She was not even arrested. Yet, it became national news on Republic Day, creating panic and fear.

Some websites reported how the girl returned to Pune. Others mentioned that the news was a hoax. Hoax? And all fell for it?* There, she said that how this incident affected her career.

"The Jammu and Kashmir Police have sent an email to Pune police clearing me of all the falsehoods. Unfortunately, because of the wrong and biased media reports and campaign against me, on 27 January, the college abruptly cancelled my admission for the nursing course".

However, even in these reports, her name was mentioned, which again demonizes her. How irresponsible and shabby, journalism can be in India. It's just a reflection of it. And this has been the norm here for decades.

Why media does it, again and again?

Come Jan 26 and Aug 15, when security is at its peak, such stories appear, year after year same pattern. This year too there was flash on channels 'fidayeen girl from Pune caught', without any confirmation.

All over India hundreds of people are stopped during security check on R-Day or I-Day. Four-wheelers, scooters, all sorts of vehicles are checked. This is routine.

Now when you cleverly write, 'Suspect caught, terror link not ruled out'. Who can deny this? You haven't termed the person terrorist but in a way linked him/her to terrorism.

Those reporters who never get a scoop otherwise, can sell this to their boss in newspaper as page 1 story. Power of pen! Happens in all states, cities.

Of course, security agencies feel good, it shows their alacrity on important days, that they are working hard, no blame either, journos doing it for them. Communal bias is another aspect.

The 'other' is always a suspect and while putting pen to paper, this is reflected. So what if lives are ruined! As far as victim is concerned, once the ordeal is over, they are so exhausted and relieved that they don't even think of taking legal steps.

Besides, when there are dozens of media houses, agencies, newspapers, channels. How many can you drag to courts? And once again it requires resources--money, links and power. If you don't have it, you can't do it.

Besides, it affects the person's own life. Hence, the victim also tries to rorget and forgive. That's how the world goes. This is how journalism works in the country.