When news is not news

Our so-called “mainstream” media is super-nationalist and ultra-patriotic. It knows when and what to publish and what to kill or bury in inside pages. This arrogant media, which prints terror stories with banner headlines on front pages, is silent these days on one of the most important episodes in terrorism. The case of Ajmal Kasab, the 26-11 terrorist, is now in front of the Supreme Court and the amicus curiae (Raju Ramchandaran) has told the court some unpalatable facts - that Kasab earlier was not given a lawyer, and even when he was provided with a lawyer he could not talk to him in privacy, FIR for his arrest was registered two days after his custody, his most famous photograph in the CST seems unreal... Yet and despite the fact that this trial is taking place in the apex court situated in the heart of the capital which is covered by regular legal reporters, yet even the inside pages of our “mainstream” media or news bulletins of our 24x7 channels are silent.

Same is the matter when falsely accused persons are acquitted by our courts after long, long years in prisons, the same media fails to report it while it had earlier published the news of their arrest with shrieking headlines. Take the case of Mufti Asrar, who was arrested despite the fact that there was no case of his direct involvement in any terror activity and the pistol “recovered” from his personal desk in a madrasa was decidedly a planted recovery which in any case is not enough to charge him with treason and war against nation while many Hindutva stalwarts charged in Malegaon and Ajmer chargesheets remain untouched. Despite this Mufti Asrar spent a full ten years in jail and was released by a Delhi court on 25 January but no mediaperson was present outside Tihar to record the great injustice.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-29 February 2012 on page no. 1

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