Archive for the ‘Indian Express’ Category

MSM’s Cherrypicking Secularism.

6 August 2014
I have come pretty late to this story, but it needs to be told still because I am against any violence, especially sectarian violence, no matter who are the perpetrators and who are the victims. A post on a group alerted me to the Main-Stream Media’s [MSM-a term popularized by US commentators] selective secularism, which on social media, now I feel is, aptly called Sickularism. It is immaterial that it was originally coined to describe Congress-style secularism, but sits very well with the behaviour of leading honchos of MSM. The violence I am referring to are the recent targeted attacks by mobs of Muslims on Sikh community in Saharanpur. What was galling is that barring few stray exceptions, majority of the MSM chose to keep mum. The only plausible reason for this studied silence I could see is that Muslim community was not the victim on this occasion, but in fact, was the perpetrator. One journo, who had the gumption to state facts as it is, was soon collared by senior sickular scribes for stepping out of line.
No one in sane state would find above tweets offensive. In fact, the bravado of the Shiv Sena MP in aggressively thrusting a roti down the throat of a meek and defenseless catering staffer at Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi was reprehensible in itself irrespective of the religion of the poor staffer or the month (Ramazan) of its occurrence. The incident was reportedly showed immediately on a few channels, notably Marathi news broadcast and unfortunately did not invoke widespread condemnation that it deserved, until it was given a mischievous and perverse communal colour by an Indian Express story some days later. It was then that all hell broke loose and the entire MSM juggernaut went berserk on the testosterone of Anti-right wing communalism; as if communalism is the monopoly of the Hindus or Sangh Pariwar, and other communities like Muslims or Christians are untainted by it. Let us face the fact that no political outfit, including left parties, and no community, including the Muslims, are not only not untouched by sectarian-cancer, but sections and leaders from them have willingly and readily used the communal card to meet their own devious agendas. Somebody, probably for the first time and untouched by communal-bias, has had the gumption to call out the sickularism of MSM that looks upon itself as the fourth pillar of parliamentary democracy.
MSM, acting thus, corrodes democracy by losing trust of citizens, who look to it for fair, accurate and unbiased reporting of events without spin. Even Muslims should be wary of it because such partisan behaviour of MSM won’t help but harm the community because no one would believe the “news” when  Muslims are at the receiving end.
Instead of applauding Sawant for telling things as they are, one senior journo chose to pontificate:
It is quite plain to anyone to see who has really lost the moral compass. A very detailed analysis of the role played by MSM has been carried out on the website of MediaCrooks.Com: Saharanpur – Heroes and Villains. I do not agree with all the views expressed by the blogger there, since there are sweeping generalizations about persons without admitting any shades of gray, but still strongly urge everyone to read it for his relentless autopsy of MSM. A senior journalist also chose to focus her attention on MSM’s reportage of Saharanpur violence in TheHoot.Org: Good Rioters and Bad Rioters. The header she chose is telltale of her views, but a few snippets I give here: “…the government’s unexpectedly tough stand at the WTO over the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the decision to put GM crop trials on hold after the RSS intervened in the matter. (At least on this issue, those at the other end of the ideological spectrum should have praised the RSS.)…On the question of Hindutva violence, the English media is maintaining its fine tradition of relentless attacks on Hindutva bullies“. Unlike, R Narayan, Jyoti Punwani touches on a wide range of issues, and draws interesting connections between different events as one has seen from preceding quotes. She also contradicts, probably with benefit of hindsight, the implied answer to the rhetorical question that Sawant raised in his tweets, “Why is the religion of those killed in the Saharanpur riots a state secret?”: “What if the Saharanpur riot had seen Muslims at the receiving end? Would the English media’s coverage have been less indifferent? One pointer to the situation on the ground is the deafening silence on the riot from Muslim websites such as and, who are the first to carry the Muslim point of view on any communal incident. Here was violence followed by a curfew on the eve of the biggest Muslim festival. Moreover, two of the three killed in police firing were Muslim. That no stories of victimhood emerged – as they invariably do from these websites – is a pointer to who was the aggressor in Saharanpur. Another pointer is the silence of the secular brigade“.
Curiously, except The Tribune (Saharanpur gurdwara colleges, school bind communities), no one from MSM cared to take note of a very interesting and telling fact about how intricately the educational activities of Saharanpur Gurdwara were tied to Muslim children and youth: ““Nearly 3,000 students are studying in only Guru Nanak Girls Inter College. The number of Muslim girl students is 1,800,” said Narinder Kohli, cashier, Gurdwara Singh Sabha.“. It may not or need not be a charitable activity of the Gurdwara, but it does illustrate otherwise close ties between two communities among others.
Would MSM take note of how discredited it has become? I doubt. But at least Press Council of India – Chairman, Markandey Katju, who voices his opinions on many issues freely, must, on a subject that goes right to the heart of his job.
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