Neemuch riots – How Media reports when Hindus are under attack

In an unfortunate incident, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti, some communal violence took place in a nondescript district of Madhya Pradesh. In Jawad town, in Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh, some Hindus who were part of a procession celebrating Hanuman Jayanti, were attacked by some Muslim groups with stones.

The situation spiralled out of control and there were reports of arson, in which shops and vehicles were set on fire. Eventually police imposed curfew in this town, a Curfew which has today gone into its third day. Incidentally, Sonia Gandhi visited this very district just a few days before this incident.

There has been near total silence in Mainstream media about this incident, with TV channels not giving any coverage whatsoever. Online media did carry some reports, but they were extremely vague in nature. We post a few of them here:

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Zee News: “where stone-pelting between two communities left at least 20 people injured”

Business Standard: “incidents of arson and stone-pelting involving members of two communities

Both the above news reports were based on PTI reports

New Indian Express: “…when some miscreants pelted stones..”. “Police said members of a specific group hurled stones at a religious procession”

Times of India: “Some miscreants on Friday threw stones at a procession”

The Hindu: “Some miscreants on Friday threw stones”

The above reports were based on IANS reports.

In all the cases, no media report was willing to name the “specific group” or “community” although it was pretty obvious.  Not only is the form an content starkly different, even the vociferous chest-beating and the prime time debates are missing. Such is the coverage given, that most people are noticing this story a good 3 days after the actual event. This needs to be contrasted with the reportage in case of various “Church Attacks”:

DailyO published an “opinion piece” by Rana Ayyub declaring that the rapists of a Nun from West Bengal were RSS backed.

Entire media and even politicians, labelled a robbery in a Delhi school as an “attack”, when even school was denying the same.

Indian Express deliberately twisted the words of an Archbishop to give the Nun-Rape case a communal angle.

India Today claimed that people arrested for the attack on a Mumbai church were from the Right Wing. They were actually local gamblers.

The issue is not here about which religion is bad or good. The issue here is, why is media hesitant to name one religion, while the other religion is dragged into any kind of crime, when no evidence exists. Is this by deliberate design or a genuine mistake? Can mistakes be repeated so often, that too erring only on one side? All this added to the constant narrative that we see in Main stream media, makes one wonder what the real agenda of media is.

The correct way though, would be to report each incident on its merits. There will no doubt be some communal incidents, and some may be law and order problems. But it seems media is desperately trying to build a narrative, and is ready to paint any event with lies and deceit so that it fits into the jigsaw puzzle that they have designed.

co-founder, OpIndia.com

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