Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Media covers up right-wing groups' inflammatory acts and vandalism in Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

The role of local media during the violence in Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur where right-wing groups took out rallies, has been shocking to say the least.

The tilt of Hindi media and local TV channels in North India, is not a new phenomenon.

But the manner in which the acts of provocation were covered up, takes the art of 'embedded journalism' to another level. 

Despite the shocking images, neither the videos, nor the acts of extreme provocation, were reported at all. 

The incidents in all the three places--Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur, were given a twist and headlines were similar in TV channels as well as newspapers. 

The 'rallies were targeted' became the standard line, as if there was a communique send from an org's office and orders given to just stick to it, and not report anything at all.

Rather than questioning role of administration or how these rallies were allowed and why no responsibility is fixed on officials, papers put the blame on victims. There was nothing on TV about these acts of vandalism at mosque. 

Also, no anchor or editor questioning Collector, SP. Till a few years ago, any newspaper report would have raised questions on failure of intelligence. Also, restrictions on big gatherings continue due to Covid 19, yet, they were flouted.

But there was not a single report that mentioned these aspects. Neither it was asked why there was witch-hunt against the victims, why one-sided action taken, the houses were demolished swiftly and cases registered under NSA. 

Years ago, it was mentioned that how the vandals and rioters often boasted, 'Ye andar ki baat hai, P.... hamare sath hai'. Now, perhaps, this P might stand for Patrakar or Press too?