The epidemic of caste-based crimes should be a matter of grave concern for the entire country. But for some, most crimes become an excuse to malign the country and divide it further on the basis of caste.
Recently, after the brutal attack on a couple, Madhavi and Sandeep shocked many. Madhavi’s father had attacked her brutally for allegedly marrying a boy from a ‘different caste’. Condemnable as this incident was, another incident came to light where Bengaluru, Bandi Siva Deepthi Reddy married one Murahari Vijay Kumar and allegedly, the girl’s father has issued death threats to the girl for marrying outside her caste.
If anything, these incidents prove that caste-based violence is a pan India problem, which, along with the law enforcement authorities, the Indian society needs to be battle together. While law enforcement plays a vital role, one would imagine that veteran journalists would urge the entire country to unite to fight this menace that claims so many lives.
Instead, veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta had other plans. Shekhar Gupta’s ‘news’ portal, The Print, published an article headlined “Progressive south India is catching up with the north when it comes to honour killings”. Earlier too, Shekhar Gupta and his portal had resorted to fanning caste divide after Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction in the fodder scam and had later been called out when he tried to preach to people over caste issues.
In this shameful insinuation ridden article, the author goes on to talk about how it is indeed shocking that the “richer and more educated” south is guilty of this malaise. The author also insinuates that the South is “generally held up as a model for the north”.
In the article, an NGO itself is quoted as saying that while many cases take place in Uttar Pradesh, the South is not better off when it comes to caste-based crimes.
The article read:
Although Uttar Pradesh accounts for the bulk of the cases, Sanjoy Sachdev, a former journalist who runs the NGO ‘Love Commandos’ to help inter-caste lovers, said Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are quite bad too.
“We have been saying this for the last eight years,” he told ThePrint. “Cases don’t get reported, but now we are seeing some cases coming out,” he added.
Sachdev’s NGO, based in Delhi, attends to hundreds of calls every day from young men and women who allege that they are being hounded by their family or society
However, instead of focusing on what ails the society at large, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print chose to deepen the north-south divide by furthering the “south more educated”, “south is richer” platitudes.
The Print, in its article, tries to pretend like the phenomenon of the south dealing with caste base crimes is something new in order to first claim superiority, and then grudgingly concede that perhaps such crimes are equally prevalent in the more “educated” south. The superiority of the south is a classic tactic to divide the country on regionalism.
This agenda didn’t escape readers who took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Prasanna Vishwanathan, the CEO of Swarajya Magazine took to Twitter and listen how the south was no stranger to caste-based violence and lynchings.
A sinister propaganda campaign was run using crimes to fuel ‘North vs South’ divide. Now pretending such framing not right.
For e.g. in Kerala this year atleast 10 lynching cases. Targets-Dalits, migrants, transgenders,women. A Bengali migrant worker lynched for ‘stealing’ hen. https://t.co/QstVhikodO
— Prasanna Viswanathan (@prasannavishy) September 24, 2018
This is not the first time that the media has used a tragedy to further their sinister agenda of dividing the country on the basis of north and south.
Recently, we reported how a senior CNN-News18 Editor attempted to fuel the north-south divide by calling north-India a “shithole”. During the devastating Kerala floods too, the media had taken it upon themselves to fuel north-south divide by repeatedly fanning separatist sentiments. Right before the Karnataka elections too, the media had furthered this propaganda by fallaciously asserting that the north was a burden on the south.