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Undermining National Security threats during Modi era is just another way that ‘liberal’ media protects Congress

The media doesn’t want the public to discuss the matter of national security. Because Dr Manmohan Singh would come out looking very pathetic indeed if people start comparing.

So, the other day, Indian agencies busted an ISIS module operating here in India, by conducting raids at 17 places and arresting 10 people. Among the material recovered were several kilos of explosives, multiple weapons, one rocket launcher as well as hundreds of alarm clocks and SIM cards.

Anyone with any sense would have taken the threat seriously. However, soon after the raids, the liberal media began a campaign of mockery and ridicule to minimize what had happened. Some journalists posted photos of a few “sutli bombs” that were among the stuff recovered from the suspects … after carefully cropping out the rocket launcher that was lying a few inches away.

Do these ‘journalists’ know that 9/11 terror attacks were carried out with humble box cutters and/or utility knives that you can purchase at any convenience store? Do they remember how an Islamic terrorist murdered nearly a hundred people in France in 2016 by simply mowing them down with his truck? Do they know that firecrackers (and fertilizers) are easily available sources for chemicals that can be used to make explosives? Not to mention that firecrackers themselves can be used to cause a stampede in crowded places that could kill hundreds of people.

Yes, terrorists can use everyday objects to kill hundreds, even thousands of people.

But pathological hatred for Narendra Modi has made sections of our liberal media close their eyes to the threat of ISIS.

This kind of coordinated effort to minimize a national security threat during PM Modi’s tenure is not new. Anyone remember the ‘terror boat’ incident from early 2015? Remember the boat full of explosives coming from Pakistan that was intercepted and blown up by the Indian Coast Guard near the Gujarat coast?

You would think that at least memories of the 26/11 terror attacks would keep the Indian media from minimizing threats coming from Pakistan by boat. But no. The media jumped in to ridicule and mock the incident, they began to spread rumours all around that it was a mere smuggling boat or something like that.

The same happened after the surgical strikes of September 2016. The media began to fan and amplify crazy conspiracy theories planted by Congress and AAP leaders about how the strikes had been faked and so on. When that didn’t cut ice, a second theory was spread about how Manmohan Singh had carried out secret surgical strikes during his tenure. This was, of course, false and the theory was busted by the official DGMO response to an RTI. But fake news and conspiracy theories are generally immune to the truth.

Another recent example is the arrest of certain urban Naxals in August this year. At least two of them had spent long periods in jail after getting arrested in connection to Maoist terror plots during UPA years. One had even been convicted and had come out of jail recently after serving his term. An interview of a surrendered Naxal revealed that one of them was, in fact, a functionary of the Maoist party and had met high ranking Maoist leadership like the central committee members. The kind of people whose arrests should be taken very seriously. But the media went to town, trying to portray those arrested, including one convicted history-sheeter, as “free speech activists”.

This systematic effort to minimize Islamic and Maoist terror threats during the Modi years coincides with an equally systematic effort to exaggerate random incidents to fit into a manufactured narrative of ‘intolerance’.

A stone was thrown at a church by a drunken gambler somewhere near Mumbai. A couple of thieves stealing Rs 8000 from a missionary school. These petty crimes were fitted uncritically by the media into the narrative of ‘church attacks’ and India’s Prime Minister was asked to answer for them in place of the local beat constable.

The rape of a nun in Bengal was instantly connected to Hindutva. The story vanished later when it was found that the culprits were illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Muslims. Anxious liberals report to their Western colleagues about the threat from Hanuman T-shirts and the New York Times sees a Hindutva hand behind the government promoting the Banarasi saree.

The media has been so uncritical and so gullible about the intolerance narrative that opportunist elements have taken notice and seized the moment. A small media worker managed to hit national headlines by making up a cock and bull story about how he was threatened by “gau rakshaks” in Mumbai over a leather bag. Another lawyer who claimed to be working for “Justice for Asifa” walked away with national and international acclaim and numerous awards and honours before it was realized that she had attended just 2 out of 110 hearings in the case. The reason these tricks worked is that the media was willing to believe almost anything as long as they could fit it into the intolerance narrative.

The same kind of uncritical swallowing by media was seen in UPA years except at the time they swallowed government propaganda instead of debunking it. So casual was the UPA government in its pronouncements and so confident in the loyalty of its media mouthpieces that Home Minister Sushil Shinde took the stage in Jaipur in 2013 and declared that BJP was running terrorist camps. No media ever pressed him to provide details about the exact location of these camps.

The question is why is the liberal media doing this. One reason, of course, is pathological hatred for Narendra Modi. But there is a second, deeper reason: the liberal media has a deep-seated inferiority complex about the disastrous national security record of the UPA government. 

Remember the days when blasts in Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, etc would play out on TV screens like endless ticker tape?

Those days are long gone. And the media realizes this. The media doesn’t want the public to discuss the matter of national security. Because Dr Manmohan Singh would come out looking very pathetic indeed if people start comparing.

Remember the time after 26/11 when Congress CM came to visit the Taj Hotel on a sightseeing trip with his actor son and Bollywood director Ram Gopal Verma? The terror attacks of 26/11 were a joke to them.

The Modi government has faced more criticism for its handling of the mythical ‘church attacks’ than the Manmohan Singh government faced for its handling of 26/11 attacks. Let that sink in.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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