Thursday, October 6th, 2022 03:40:40

UDAIPUR INCIDENTBIAS WIDE OPEN IN ENGLISH PRINT MEDIA

By Dr Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao
Updated: July 6, 2022 2:51 pm

Perusal of the reports filed in the English dailies of the country reveals the biased character of the English print media. These media houses and editors of English dailies are the self-certified champions of ‘unbiased reporting’, often accusing the regional language papers of spreading false reports. They claim as pioneers of placing the facts before the reader, not taking sides and leaving reader to arrive at a conclusion. But in reality the English dailies are the suppressor of facts. The English dailies mastered the art of building a narration basing on the political view they hold and twist the issue basing on victim’s religion. The duplicity of their reporting can be gauzed from what they printed when the victim was a Muslim and the aggressors are Hindus and how they changed the narrative when the aggressor is a Muslim and victim is Hindu. It may sound harsh but my comment is based on facts and the comments are not made, for sure, with a malice. Though I had the data the chance to write this came after going through the newspapers of June 29, 2022 where the beheading incident of Udaipur is reported by different dailies.  Readers are free to appreciate or criticise and comment.

The Rajasthan city of Udaipur witnessed a Taliban incident in the broad day light where a Hindu Kanhaiya Lal was beheaded by two religious terrorism inspired Muslim youth, one of whom works in a local Mosque. The Muslim assailants walked into the shop as customers and when the Hindu, a tailor by profession, was taking the bodymeasurements, butchered him by slitting the throat with a sharp cleaver and then separating the head from the torso. The incident is so gruesome even to read but for the Muslim youth fed on the terror acts and killings of ‘kafirs’ as a sacred religious duty, it was so casual that one of the assailant filmed the blood gushing scene and shared it on the social media platforms. That the assailants had the temerity of warning the killing of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi with the same weapon.

This unparalleled incident which should have condemned with strongest words at their command, the print media of India has presented the news in totally different way from what they have reported when some Muslims were lynched anywhere in India. When Muslims were lynched the English media invariably mentioned the religion of the victim. As late as February 2022, an incident happened in Samastipur of Bihar state where the youth was lynched for defaulting the loan repayment. The national daily published from Chennai used the header ‘MUSLIM MAN WAS LYNCHED’. The story mentioned the victim as Muslim, Mohammad Khalil Alam and the murderers are Hindus, Anurag Jha and Vipul Jha. In then offence too it was filmed and uploaded and that note papers quoting officials, though the police denied any communal angle in the lynching, said in its report that “the accused hoped to create a communal situation by shooting and releasing the video of crime”.

Take another incident that happened in Rajasthan few years earlier. The same newspaper has chosen to give a header, ‘MUSLIM MAN LYNCHED BY MOB IN RAJASTHAN ON SUSPICION OF COW SMUGGLING’, identifying the victim by religion. That newspaper which has not hidden the identity of the religion victim earlier suddenly saw a virtue in hiding the Udaipur victim’s religion and gave the neutral header ‘TWO BEHEAD MAN FOR SOCIAL MEDIA POST’. Not only that the daily choose not to identify the offenders by their religion. This is totally contrast to their earlier reports when the victim is a non-Hindu.

Barring one newspaper published from Delhi which mentioned the religion of the victim in the header all other dailies published from different corners of the country gave the header by identifying the Udaipur victim by his profession. Tailor butchered, Tailor beheaded, A shopkeeper beheaded are what rest of the newspapers gave.

It was certainly not a professional rivalry between two tailors which lead to the beheading but it was the religious aggression which was the reason for the beheading. But still the newspapers tried to suppress that religious angle in their headers.

Should we still believe that the English print media is unbiased and fair in its reporting? If the newspapers believe that identifying the victim by religion will lead to tension and retaliation then they should have taken that into consideration while identifying the victim by Muslim religion. This bias  needs be questioned and be made to mend their ways.

 

By Dr Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao

 

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