One youth by the name of Chandan Gupta was killed and dozen others were reported as injured as communal clashes erupted over flag march in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh. While reports over the details of the incident are contradictory, with both sides claiming their own version, the victim’s father claimed that his son was not involved in any political outfit, and both the parents claimed that their son was shot at since he refused to say “Pakistan Zindabad”.
Irrespective of the details of what led to the incident, some facts are clear : A Hindu boy was shot at and murdered, possibly by an irate Muslim mob. But Indian media, which is usually agile at picking up castes and religions, had turned “secular” for this incident.
Earlier last year, a muslim boy was killed on a train after an argument. Some in the media had claimed that the fight had started over suspicion of Junaid and his brother ‘carrying beef’ – even though neither the complainant in the written complaint nor the accused, who has confessed to his crime, talked about that being the trigger of the fatal fight. The breaking news coverage of that incident, by Hindustan Times and Firstpost was as below:
The religion of the victim was very openly declared by both the media houses. Cut to the murder at Kasganj of Chandan Gupta, and we see both these publications dropped the religion of the victim altogether:
No “Hindu boy” killed, instead we have “one dead” and “man killed” over “communal clashes”.
In 2014, another incident occurred when a Muslim techie was beaten to death allegedly by Hindutva activists over a morphed Facebook post. The news reports that time too did not fail in pointing out the religion, either of the victim or the perpetrators. The Hindu and The Indian Express had the following headlines:
The same publications went silent on the religion in Kasganj case:
Once again, the victim had no religion, and neither did the alleged criminals. The double standards are glaring.