Saturday, April 17, 2021

Journalism in India: No fresh idea, why not do a cover story on 'Indian Muslims'


It's the age-old system in Indian journalism.

For magazines, periodicals and even Sunday papers that needed a special story.

If you don't have a fresh story or run out of all the ideas, just focus on 'Indian Muslims'.

Do a story on 'Indian Muslims', with different angles!

Either term them 'backward' or do a story on 'Muslim vote bank', so-called appeasement or write about the clergy and institutions, terming them regressive. 

This is the level of understanding and it has not changed in the last 70-odd years. 

The stereotypes that journalists carry even after getting a degree, the perception about Muslims and the beliefs about Muslims as monolith who need to be patronized and told about 'their issues', it just never ends.

So even if the community may be doing well against all odds, improving on indicators, the preaching continues. Forget data, statistics. And, why not write on issues concerning the majority. Do a story on 'Indian Hindus', now. It is time to focus.

The superstitions or bigotry among majority community, the radicalism or growth of hate among large sections is a big story. In fact, writers who belong to particular religion or caste, aren't aware about their own misconceptions, how they inherit the false notions and how they are regressive despite education and degrees.

Else, what is the reason that you don't write about your own superstitions, bigotry, privilege, radicalism, superstitions or growing fundamentalism among this huge section! Many people do have serious issues, strange phobias, join these Right-wing groups, Dals and Senas, many of them are involved in lynchings or hate crimes, yet suffer from fears of Muslim takeover, these are strange complexes. Aren't they a community that needs to be covered?