Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Opinions Facts about beef politics, Congress and the media narrative

Facts about beef politics, Congress and the media narrative

With 2019 elections approaching, many media houses and mainstream journalists have started disproportionate highlighting of news around cow-related issues. Unsurprisingly, the clear objective of building such narratives is to influence a section of voters and create resentment against BJP. Earlier, a similar media narrative that squarely blamed Modi government in Gujarat for 2002 riots played an important role in BJP losing 2004 general elections despite a stellar performance by the Vajpayee government.

While the political narrative has to be set by political parties, it is staggering how the media itself has become a tool for propaganda that aide one political party of the other. The mainstream media has continuously peddled a narrative sans facts on the issue of beef ban, and it is incumbent to separate the wheat from the chaff and the facts from the narrative to understand how deep the rot runs.

Narrative:

  • India is the world’s largest exporter of beef despite the ban on cow slaughter

Facts:

  • Meat exported from India is that of water buffaloes.
  • India is world’s largest beef exporter because US Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes meat of bovine animals like “buffaloes” under “beef”.
  • While “cow” slaughter is banned in 21 states, there is no such restriction on “buffaloes”.
  • Hence, there is nothing illegal, immoral or hypocritical in India being world’s largest beef exporter.

Detailed CNN Report on India’s beef exports may be referred here.

Narrative:

  • BJP is obsessed with cow related laws while Congress is “liberal” and “secular”

Facts:

  • Cow slaughter ban, which is currently applicable in 21 states was implemented mostly in the period between 1950’s going up to 70’s
  • Laws banning cow slaughter were implemented by various Congress governments in respective states even before BJP came into existence in 1980

Data Source: Cow slaughter in India

  • In 2015, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh was busy claiming credit for it when the beef ban was perceived as a favorable issue for Bihar elections
  • Congress was even open to extending it to a central ban across entire India
  • Source: EconomicTimes

Interestingly, Congress was happy to claim credit for the beef ban when it was perceived to be a positive factor. Now, a negative narrative has been built by associating violence with cows and the blame for every incident is automatically transferred to BJP.

Congress actually implemented laws banning cow slaughter across the nation and claims to be “secular”. Yet, BJP is projected as the one “trying to control what people eat”.

BJP even after winning elections in North East, respected the eating habits of people and continued focusing on development issues instead of pursuing a law on beef ban. While BJP’s flexibility on this issue deserved admiration, the media projected this as BJP’s hypocrisy. Such is the power of narrative.

Narrative:

  • BJP leaders are defending and supporting mob violence

Facts:

  • Prime Minister himself has condemned violence in the name of cows on multiple occasions. U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has explicitly done the same
  • Quoting some lower rung BJP / RSS leaders out of context does not mean that BJP supports vigilantism
  • Law & Order is a subject of state governments and does not fall under the purview of government in the center. The perpetrators of such crimes have faced trials by courts and punished as per the law

In 2009, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had proudly declared that over 150 media publications were owned by people affiliated with the Congress partyand this machinery would be used to project Rahul Gandhi as India’s next leader in the coming decade.

However, Congress lost power in 2014 and now the machinery is first required to create discontentment with the current regime using the obvious narrative – “BJP Government is anti-minorities”

The issue of mob violence in India cuts across religions. Both the victims and the perpetrators belong to various religions. All loss of lives are deplorable, but selective outrage depending on “a particular”religion of victim is intended to create resentment against the regime. Mob violence is a social issue which is being painted as a religiousone.

The role of the media is to present facts to its viewers so they can make informed decisions, whether political or otherwise. The media has summarily failed to do its job and outsourced fact-checking to its readers. While rhetoric may be the hallmark of political discourse, one surely wouldn’t have expected media houses to turn into political mouthpieces.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Shashank Goyal
IIM-A alumnus, Software Sales Professional, Writes about business, economy and politics; Passionate about numbers, facts and analysis Tweets @shashankgoyal01

Related Articles

Trending now

Game over for India Today? CBI registers FIR in TRP Scam after UP Govt recommends probe based on private complaint

CBI has registered an FIR to investigate the TRP scam after a private complaint was registered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

‘Lockdown over but Coronavirus still here’: As PM Modi rings warning bell ahead of festive season, here are key takeaways from his address

In his 12-minute address, PM Modi urged people to maintain caution and wear masks while stepping out of their homes

The social hierarchy of Muslim society: Is the caste system a problem unique to Hindus?

Often ignored by the media, there is wide scale discrimination present in Muslim society between two factions- Ashraf and Ajlaf.

The MP who was sentenced to death: In Bihar elections, Anand Mohan Singh’s wife and son are now RJD candidates

Son and wife of Anand Mohan Singh, first-ever MP to get death sentence, are contesting in upcoming Assembly Elections in Bihar

FT publishes damning investigation implicating China, WHO and their role in the spread of Coronavirus: Here are 7 takeaways

The Financial Times carried out an investigation about China's initial mismanagement and complacency that led to a global coronavirus pandemic

After Mumbai Police harasses Arnab Goswami, ex-cop Iqbal Shaikh approaches court to stop Republic TV from reporting on TRP scam: Read details

Iqbal Shaikh accused Arnab Goswami and Republic TV of engaging in a smear campaign against Mumbai Police.

Recently Popular

After Chinese phones blocking weather data for Arunachal and Ladakh, now Twitter shows Leh as part of China

Security analyst Nitin A Gokhale found that Twitter has labelled Leh in Ladakh as part of People's Republic of China (PRC)

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

In 2012 ‘out of town’ Salman Khan partied with Parambir Singh in Mumbai on day Bandra cops could not serve him Court summons for...

As reported by Mid-Day in 2012, Salman Khan and Parambir Singh were both found attending a Christmas party hosted by Sunny Dewan and his wife Anu Dewan in Mumbai. This when the Bandra cops claimed Khan was not in town.

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

Anti-Trump legal analyst of CNN and The New Yorker contributor suspended after masturbating on Zoom call

Jeffrey Toobin has offered an apology for masturbating on the Zoom video call and said that he thought he had put the video and audio on mute.

TimesNow joined the Left in condemning Republic TV to hell, now, the Left is gunning for them too

The 'TRP scam' started off when Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh named Republic TV and hid the fact that the FIR which was filed, based on the Hansa Research Report, named India Today
- Advertisement -

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

Bihar: Police arrest National Ulema Council Party candidate for campaigning on buffalo

Gaya Police has arrested Mohammad Parvez Mansoori for campaigning on a Buffalo for the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections.

Game over for India Today? CBI registers FIR in TRP Scam after UP Govt recommends probe based on private complaint

CBI has registered an FIR to investigate the TRP scam after a private complaint was registered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Paris beheading case: Victim Samuel Paty to be conferred France’s highest order, mosque to be shut down

Days after the history teacher beheading by a radical Islamist in Paris, the French govt has decided to confer the highest order of merit Legion d'Honneur posthumously.

‘Lockdown over but Coronavirus still here’: As PM Modi rings warning bell ahead of festive season, here are key takeaways from his address

In his 12-minute address, PM Modi urged people to maintain caution and wear masks while stepping out of their homes

The social hierarchy of Muslim society: Is the caste system a problem unique to Hindus?

Often ignored by the media, there is wide scale discrimination present in Muslim society between two factions- Ashraf and Ajlaf.

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

#Tweet4Bharat: Here is a list of the winners in the English category and their winning tweet threads!

The participation exceeded expectations greatly and finally, after much deliberation, we are now in a position to declare the winners.

Madrasas are breeding grounds for terrorists: MP cabinet minister Usha Thakur

BJP MLA from Indore, Usha Thakur said that government funding to all madrasas should come to an end

The benign gibberish on AajTak: How a clueless anchor and a clueless journalist discussed how clueless they are

Since no news channel seem to have any prior information about the PM's message, Aaj Tak probably decided to share random sentences repeatedly.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
465,234FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe