Kanwariya lynched to death, The Telegraph’s headline paints the victim as the perpetrator

There have been numerous media attempts to paint Kanwariyas as perpetrators of violent crimes in recent weeks. Earlier we have reported how CNN News 18 had tried to paint an incident of mob violence by Muslims as ‘Kanwariya Menace’. The trend seems to continue.

Yesterday in Siwan, Bihar a 62-year-old kanwariya was dragged from a vehicle and was beaten to death by a local mob. According to reports, a vehicle carrying kanwariyas from Babadham had brushed a bike about 5 km from Lohgajar village. The young man in the bike reportedly called almost a dozen of his associates and the mob started assaulting the kanwariyas in the vehicle. Even female kanwariyas were not spared. Due to the assault by the local mob, 62-year-old Janardan Yadav. Six other kanwariyas, including women, were also injured in the mob assault. Arrests were yet to be made.

However, as pointed by journalist Swati Goel Sharma, The Telegraph ran the report with the headline, ‘1 lynched after Kanwariya vehicle hits bike’. The headline by Telegraph might give the readers an impression that it was perhaps the kanwariya who was involved in the lynching and not the victim. Especially, considering the malign campaign that the media has run against kanwariyas.

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Lakhs of Hindu devotees undertake the Kanwar yatra every year and sparing some stray incidents the yatra is mostly peaceful. However, the recent attempts by the media to paint Kanwar yatras in the negative shade has caused people to take objections.

There has been several maligning attempts and generalisations when it comes to kanwariyas. In another such attempt, Business Standard had insinuated the idea that kanwariyas are ‘jobless’. In the meanwhile, deliberate and violent attacks on kanwariyas, like the incident in Fatehpur, Rajasthan fail to get enough attention from mainstream media.

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