Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Communalism in Indian Media: How Hindi newspapers, regional media created 'Love Jihad' bogey

When a Muslim youth changed his name & embraced Hinduism, the papers praised the act and write--religion no bar, love wins. 

Otherwise, even if there is no conversion & just a girl and boy with different faiths, marry, it's termed 'Love Jihad' & crime & conspiracy. 

More than politicians, it's the local media that is responsible for communalizing, spreading poison & hate. 

Strange it may seem to an outsider, but this entire campaign and propaganda against inter-faith marriages gets real push from media. 

In fact, most of the times, even if politicians want to avoid after a couple of days, the guys with the mike would insist and still ask the same question again & again, coming across the politician at his bungalow, at a meeting, on way to a public event, at Airport, or anywhere else.

If you want to seriously write about inter-faith marriages, you can get annual figures of your district, but no newspaper would even do this much. They will just peddle propaganda, theories and conspiracies. Not information from data regarding marriages under Special Marriage Act, records in the Collectorate. 

But the level of journalism is such that any marriage in which it's a Hindu girl marrying a Muslim boy, it gives heart burns to journos, and they on their own start mentioning that it is a case of 'Love Jihad', though the term has no legal basis.

India's investigating agencies have said it that there is no such concept and even a Union minister made it clear in the Parliament. However, the right-wing agenda continues. A 'Hindu girl going to a Muslim boy' is taken as a case of 'defeat', irrespective of the fact that many Muslim girls too marry Hindu boys.

Just see how without data or statistics, propaganda makes people believe that there are more marriages and 'our girls' are being snatched. And, all such theories, conspiracies get legitimized through newsrooms in regional papers. If you're in a newsroom, you have a responsibility.

In a society, where there are people from diverse sections, there will always be some inter-faith marriages. If you even want to debate it in a secular state, at least, talk on figures. But this is not even mentioned in papers. 

The journalists become representative of not just a religion, they take upon themselves the task to do moral policing, act like right-wing fringe and flag-bearers of majoritarian fascism, blaming Muslims and giving this shameful perception that 'Muslims deliberately lure Hindu girls' or as if 'Hindu girls are eager to go to Muslim boys' (sic).