Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 17:34:20

Media’s silence on atrocities over the other minority

Updated: November 19, 2015 11:35 am

A columnist asked, ‘Does the Indian media have an unwritten code not to report atrocities on minorities in India’s neighbourhood? “It appears that after the Narendra Modi government came to power, Delhi media needs a “Look East” policy. What else explains the deafening silence on the violence against Hindu minorities and the desecration of Durga idols in Hooghly district in West Bengal, as also in Bangladesh, yet again this year? The desecration of Durga idols was reported in mid-October on social media by Tapan Ghosh, an active twitterati and founder of Hindu Samahati, an NGO which monitors and reports atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

The website of the NGO carried news of Durga idols having been desecrated in the Hooghly district in West Bengal. But, this was not mentioned in any Indian English mainstream media. Except that DNA and Outlook covered incidents of desecration of Durga idols in Bangladesh. But for Indian media no Hooghly district incident as reported in Hindu Samahati’s website occurred.

One cannot help but contrast this with how news of attacks on Christian institutions were reported recently in the same mainstream print and TV media, and conclusions reached on primetime debates. In short, anything but an attack by the media’s favourite punching bags on Hindu outfits. The Bengali intellectual Nirad C. Chaudhary relates in his autobiography (‘The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian’), published in 1951, an incident which occurred in his native West Bengal. I quote from page 245 of the paperback edition: “Late in the spring of 1907, at the time of the Hindu festival of Vasanti Puja, the image of the Goddess Durga was desecrated; in tact broken to pieces by a Muslim mob at Jamalpur, one of the sub-divisional headquarters of Mymensingh district”. The author goes onto note the beginnings of an overtly expressed religious identity among both Bengali Muslims and Hindus around 1906 (an year after Bengal was partitioned). Lastly and as an aside, it is interesting to note that while Bankim Chandra inspired an entire generation of freedom fighters from Bipin Chandra Pal to Aurobindo when he called Mother India as Durga herself, the patron deity of Jawaharlal University, the den of our liberal and progressive brethren, is Mahishasura, the demon whom Durga slaughtered.

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