Friday, November 21, 2008

Inconvenience begets silence

Objectivity was never the media's forte, particularly the Indian national electronic news media. Upon seeing a possibility to malign Hindus, most of the 'secular' media houses and the self appointed conscience keepers invariably jump the gun. While Islamic violence is treated with deference by the same entities. We are advised to try and 'understand' their (imagined) 'grievances'. Clearly, the majority never needs to be understood, they can never have any grievance. Or even if they did, it can never be justified.
Reams of columns and hours of videos are produced when any incidence has a supposed Hindu link. The editors of the 'secular' media can hardly wait until the investigations are complete and truth established. If they did, it wouldn't be sensational. After all, where is the fun in indicting Jihadi terrorists or sleazy Christian priests who seem unable to keep their pants on? That would be stating the obvious. TRPs would not jump with such coverage. However, almost all such attempts to 'explain' Jihad or rabid evangelism have only yielded lemons. And yet, the media has not learnt.
Sister Abhaya was murdered 16 years ago. There were any number of attempts by the powers to cover it up. Yet, it turns out, the truth is tougher to bury. And now, two Christian priests and a sister have been arrested in connection to the case. Soul searching questions are not being asked. Fact finding teams are not being sent.
The Orissa nun, who was allegedly raped, got more coverage when Hindus were the alleged aggressors. However, as investigations progress, facts seem to suggest something else. The secular media's reaction? Silence. That's the standard hit-and-run ploy followed by them.
The editors of the 'secular' national media never pontificate the Muslims and their leaders to treat their women with respect and dignity. To respect the law of the land and to integrate with the nation. On the contrary, Mullahs that claim being ISI agents, seek to convert India into a Dar-ul-Islam, leaders that sing in Pakistan's glory, shout anti-India slogans are defended. And yet, it is the Hindus that must introspect.
The Sadhvi Pragya Thakur case is a more recent glaring example of the media's lopsided coverage. While terrorism could never be 'green' or 'Islamic', 'Hindu terrorism' or 'Saffron terror' is suddenly in vogue, so much so, that the mission to link terrorism to Hinduism has now continued unabated for about a month. Curiously, no other blast case received so much coverage. News reports of every other blasts died out after a day or so. But this new 'Hindu terror' story has outlasted every major news item, even the Chandrayaan-1 (which ought to have received the maximum coverage).
Even about a month's worth of effort in linking Hindus to terrorism has only resulted in incoherent theories, contradictory findings and inconvenient truths. While a Muslim terrorist who has no qualms taking innocent lives has all the human rights protection in the world. The same are not accorded to a Hindu 'suspect'. That too a woman no less. None of the usual activists have uttered anything so far. The National Commission for Women (NCW) too is guilty of inaction, especially now when the Sadhvi has alleged ill treatment by the Mumbai Anti Terror Squad (ATS). The affidavit makes for gut wrenching reading. However, that has failed to move Girija Vyas (President, NCW), the human rights activists and the usual concerned citizenry.
The media, who on days when the ATS did not have any leaks would cook up their own, too is guilty of being silent on the affidavit. Such a revelation demands equal coverage. So does the glaring violations of ATS in handling the case. But, it is inconvenient for a media who has bet heavily against the nation.

No comments: