In a shocking incident from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, a Muslim man severed his wife’s tongue yesterday. However, in a bid to sensationalise the episode, news channel Aajtak maligned the Hindu festival of ‘Karwa Chauth’ by giving an egregious twist in their headlines to convey that a brutality was committed by a husband on the day of ‘Karwachauth’, the day when Hindu women generally fast for their husband’s long and healthy life.
The incident pertains to Saraiya village of Muzaffarpur, where an ugly brawl between two wives devolved into husband cutting tongue of his second wife. She was rushed to the hospital where the doctors tended to her injuries. According to the doctors, the nature of the injury was serious and condition and she continues to remain critical as a lot of blood was lost before bringing her to the hospital.
The incident spread like a wildfire through the village and the accused Mohammad Shafiq was nabbed by angry villagers before tying him to a pole. He was subsequently handed over to the village police. An FIR has been filed against the husband Mohammad Shafik by the family members of his second wife Meena Khatun.
The injured wife’s family members have alleged that Shafiq tricked Meena into marrying him. Family members said that Shafiq claimed inability of his first wife to have children as a reason for marrying Meena. However, soon after marrying Meena, the family members alleged that Shafiq started harassing her along with his first wife. The family members asserted that when Meena threatened to scream against the harassment meted out on her, Shafiq and his first wife would threaten her with severing her tongue. Along with Shafiq, the FIR also mentions the name of his first wife Anguri Khatun.
However, despite having no affiliation with the ‘Karwa Chauth’ ritual, Aajtak spuriously mentioned it in their headlines while conveniently ignoring to mention the Muslim identities of those involved in the horrendous act. The inclusion of ‘Karwa Chauth’ in the headlines alluded that a practising Hindu husband must have committed the despicable atrocity upon her wife. The fact that the Muslim man had two wives and the quarrel between the two reportedly triggered him into severing one of his wives’ tongue was conspicuously absent from the headlines.
The vilification of Hindu festivals is not a new phenomenon. several media houses have been guilty of gratuitously slandering Hindu rituals and festivals. One media outlet The Wire published a scathing article arguing that the Hindu festival of Holi perpetuates rape culture. Another ‘secular’ media outlet Huffington Post had uploaded a disparaging piece about how Karwa Chauth smacks off patriarchy on its website. There are umpteen instances where media outlets have unabashedly indulged in denigrating Hindu festivals.
These very media outlets remain tight-lipped while conjoining a crime with a festival celebrated by non-Hindus. The modus operandi espoused by such media outlets entails pontificating Hindus about the vices purportedly associated with their festivals and holding the festivals responsible for the perpetuation of those vices. This procedure is exclusive only for the Hindu festivals and for non-Hindu festivals, lofty ideals of brotherhood, peace, inclusiveness etc. are attached while glaring vices are intentionally concealed.