Issues

Indian Media and the Recent Mumbai attacks

By Shaik Zakeer Hussain

Even before the real perpetrators of the recent attack on Mumbai are brought to light, even before the investigation and investigators have come out with evidence against the presumed outfits behind the attack, Some sections of the media, civil society, and politicians have given their verdict; ‘Islamic Terrorism.’

In its July 16th Print, Times of India, the Nations largest selling English newspaper, came out with a list of Groups, which were involved in terror activities in India. Its list contained the obvious Organisations, Lashkar-e-Taiba, SIMI, Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (a Bangladesh-based outfit) and the so-called Indian Mujahideen. Given the impact of the attacks perpetrated by these Organisations, the list conspicuously missed the name of Abhinav Bharat, whose members have been arrested for their involvement in the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, and the list also did not include Organisations behind terror attacks like the 2007 Ajmer Sharif blast, 2006 Malegaon blasts, and the 2008 Malegoan & Modasa bombing.

One look at these discrepancies and the method of reporting gives us an insight into organizations like TOI has taken the initiative of ‘educating’ the masses that all terror activities in this country is a case of ‘Islamic terrorism.’

The reporting and commentary that followed the blasts had the same imprint and characteristics of the above, all of them followed the same leitmotif: Islamic Terrorism.

But the one writing that stands out, the one which seems to be spewed out of pure vengeance and hatred, was published by DNA on July 16. The article written by Subramanian Swamy was crudely titled, ‘Analysis: How to wipe out Islamic terror:

“The terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, requires decisive soul-searching by the Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day till the nation finally collapses”.

The blast according to various news reporting killed anywhere from 17 to 21 people, and left around 131 injured. The ones who were killed included both Hindus and Muslims, the ones who were injured included both Hindus and Muslims, and ones who came to the rescue of victims also included both Hindus and Muslims.

Now presuming the target of these blasts were just Hindus and not anyone else is not only absurd, but assumptions like these comes out of  a deep and hollow resentment for, communities who people like  Subramanian Swamy call, ‘Outsiders’ and who are not a part of the so-called, ‘Brihad Hindu Samaj,’ or the greater Hindu society.

Mr. Swami goes on, “In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatan Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for the Kumbh Mela, completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus.”

One of the reasons given by the NDA government to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI was because it was alleged to have advocating ‘violence’ and ‘communal disharmony’ in the Country. But here we have people like Subramanian Swamy, a former union minister, urging the Majority Hindus to come together to fight the ‘Muslim Fantics,’ and strategises, to ‘Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.’Mr. Swamy might have forgotten the horrors of 1992, when a group aroused by L.K. Advani and members of the Sangh Parivar, brought down the Masjid at Ayodhya, and the violence that followed as a result of that barbaric vandalism, but how did the editors at DNA forget the act that still arouses hostilities in this country, how come that it provides a platform for hate-mongers like this, who apart from advocating Ayodhya like incidents again, also propagates the Annexation of land from ‘Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India.’

The Media is supposed to play a constructive role in the upliftment of a society, but by publishing destructive and militant ideas like these, unfortunately shows their mean headedness and complacency.

Shaik Zakeer Hussain is an independent writer and blogger 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2011 on page no. 12

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