Indian Express’ string of bad headlines and shoddy spins continue. In the midst of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor controversy, Indian Express has reported that some Congress leaders have expressed happiness about Captain Amarinder’s stand of not visiting Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Except, Indian Express chose to point out their religious identity.
In the article, Indian Express again points out religious identity of the leaders who have, on condition of anonymity, expressed their displeasure at Captain Amarinder’s decision, calling it a move to appease ‘Hindu vote-bank’.
Indian Express mentions how Captain Amarinder got support from “Hindu leaders” but “Sikh leaders” have expressed displeasure.
Captain Amarinder has maintained that as a Sikh himself, he understands the importance of the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, the holy shrine in Pakistan, but as chief minister of a border state, Punjab, it is his responsibility to maintain law and order in his state. He says that owing to the cross-border terrorism which has claimed lives of security forces and civilians, he, in good conscience, could not visit the land which sponsors such acts of terrorism.
One wonders how this headline or spin is any different from Indian Express’ “and they hanged Yakub” headline. For decades, the media has been assigning national security issues to religious identities and playing a dangerous game. When Yakub or Kasab were handed the death penalty for their unspeakable crimes, often, the narrative was of Muslims being under attacked and not being given their fair share in India. Here, while the degree is different, the narrative is no different.
Captain Amarinder Singh made a decision which upholds the interest of the nation above even his own religious identity. For the Indian Express to divide support from his decision as “Hindu leaders” supporting him is playing a dangerous game of communal rhetoric where national interest is concerned.
Per the likes of Indian Express, it seems national interest will always be reduced to a “pro Hindu”, “anti Muslim” rhetoric. Where upholding national interest in their mind is appeasing Hindus.