In what seems to be a result of sustained pressure from Social Media combined with plain facts not supporting the narrative, Times Groups seems to have become the first MSM outlet to openly counter this “Christians on a hitlist” agenda driven narrative. It is especially important because the Times group itself was party to this message being spread across the country.
On 18th March 2015, Times of India, our country’s most popular daily, came up with this highly sensationalist headline: “ENOUGH, SAY WARY CHRISTIANS”. This was hot on the heels of the unfortunate gang rape of a Nun in West Bengal. Those were the days when “journalists” like Rana Ayyub used shoot and scoot tactics to communalise a rape, and blame RSS for it. To buttress its claim of “Christian persecution”, Times of India had then claimed that “In 9 weeks since December 2014, 5 churches have been attacked in Delhi, 2 convents broken into, One church gutted”.
Now as investigations have revealed, most of the church “attacks” were a result of non-communal events like, short-circuit, drunkards, children throwing stones, petty theft and gamblers being ratted out by the church. Even the high point of this narrative, the Nun gang rape, was eventually found to be a crime by Bangladeshis. In the face of all these facts, Times group seems to have taken an informed U-Turn. On 6th April, Arnab Goswami, in Newshour trashed this media narrative.
Yesterday, Times of India published an article which basically goes against all their claims. While they did try to get into whataboutism by questioning the UPA record on attacks on churches, they also posted this infographic which shows the real reasons behind every “church attack”. This after just 3-4 weeks back, Times of India used these very “church attacks” to build a totally different narrative.
It is certainly a positive start that finally MSM seems to have woken up and smelt the coffee that is brewing for so long, but can this undo the damage? Can only one publication trying to correct its course offset the propaganda of the entire MSM combined?