Home Opinions While The Hindu talks about two sides of a national story, its coverage on CAA presents only one side

While The Hindu talks about two sides of a national story, its coverage on CAA presents only one side

It was imperative that this documentation was done – to showcase to the world how lopsided and one-sided coverage of this issue is being perpetrated by The Hindu.

The Director of Editorial Strategy (whatever that means) of The Hindu, Dr. Malini Parthasarathy was recently worried that the Government of India “doesn’t see two sides of the national story any more!” The “national story” she is referring to here refers to the CAA and NRC headlines. I read The Hindu daily, and reading her tweet immediately prompted me to think if Dr. Malini’s newspaper actually sees two sides of a national story?

For example, I felt that irony died a million deaths when a column titled “FACTWISE” was written by Srinivasan Ramani. Srinivasan Ramani is no stranger to spreading lies, fake numbers and analysis under the garb of “facts”. In his article, “A tale of two demands”, he boldly proclaims that, “Dr. Singh and the CPI(M) demanded citizenship for Bangla refugees, but not on the basis of their religion”

The treachery is simply astounding.  In 2003, Dr. Manmohan Singh stood up in the Rajya Sabha and said that “the minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution”. The CPI(M) party resolution in 2012 reads – “the CPI(M)] demands a suitable amendment in Clause 2 (i)(b) of the said Citizenship Act in relation to the Bangladesh minority community refugees

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The full statements are widely available on the internet. I copied the above lines from the very article that The Hindu published. Both Dr. Singh and the CPI(M) are very clear that minorities in Bangladesh need help. Yet, Srinivasan Ramani had the courage to lie openly that the demands were “not on the basis of religion”! Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country. Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh. In this context, what does “minorities in Bangladesh” mean? Except for alleged journalists, it is crystal clear to everyone that the reference is based on religion because the persecution is based on religion!

Can you imagine the lies this newspaper would have spread in days when social media wasn’t active? Do you shudder at this thought? In case you think this is a one-off case, let’s look at more examples.

On December 10th, The Hindu publishes a news article that says “1000 signatories express concern”.

The Hindu
The Hindu report on scientists opposing CAA

On December 21st, more than 1000 academicians signed a letter in support of the CAA. Guess what, there was not a single reference to this letter in the newspaper on December 22nd. Don’t believe me – here is a snap of their national news section on December 22nd.

The Hindu

Or you can even search in their online section here. However, The Hindu published the PTI version of this story on their website. Now, take a look at the accompanying image that The Hindu chose to publish for this particular news item.

The Hindu
The Hindu article on CAA support use anti-CAA photo

What explains the publication of an anti-CAA image in a pro-CAA story? If an anti-CAA letter merits a publication in the newspaper, why doesn’t a pro-CAA letter merit the same? What kind of treacherous mentality aids The Hindu to squash one side of the story completely?

Around the same time that The Hindu published a “viral photo” of a girl giving a rose to policemen, Farhan Akhtar’s video of him not knowing what he is protesting against also went viral. Just one video from Rahul Kaushik that was RT’ed by Smriti Irani had a whopping 4,40,000 views!. If this is not the definition of viral, then I don’t know what is! Why is this important video, that exposes the utter callousness of popular folks, not an important news item to cover?

Let’s now see how carefully The Hindu has attempted to downplay the violence. Here is an image The Hindu has published on December 14th.

The Hindu
This Hindu captions photo of CAA violence as protest

We can very clearly see that the “students” in this image are resorting to violence. Yet, The Hindu, in their caption tells us that this image is of “JMU students protesting against CAA and the NRC”! Is this not treachery that The Hindu choses to mask violence in the garb of “protests”?

An infographic was presented by The Hindu, with the title “Rising restrictions”. This was in reference to the ban on Internet in areas where violence was happening. Please take some time to study this infographic.

The Hindu infographic on Internet ban

Once you are done with it, can you please point out how is the 2019 data in anyway indicative of “rising restrictions”? 137 instances in 2018 versus 106 in 2019! If we remove J&K, then we are looking at 59 instances in 2018 versus 31 instances in 2019! Barring the problematic J&K, 31 instances in the entire country for an entire year, in various states (including West Bengal, the liberal group’s favorite state) – is that a number we really need to be alarmed about? If we are to be alarmed about them, then here is an open challenge to the Director of Editorial Strategy, The Hindu – can you please share with us 31 editorials and op-eds in The Hindu denouncing these instances as and when they occurred?

Read- The New Worry of Depleting Journalistic Ethics: Suhasini Haidar lies in her The Hindu oped about India’s diplomatic ties

On December 18th, The Hindu front paged the following – “21 hurt as protestors clash with police in Delhi”. Somewhere in the article we are told that 15 out of these 21 are police personnel only! No information on how police personnel were getting hurt.

The Hindu
The Hindu article on injured in CAA violence

On December 20th though, The Hindu’s headline was crystal clear – 2 die in police firing!

The Hindu article on death in CAA violence

We are also then told that “Anti-CAA protests rock the country”. This was around the same time many pro-CAA rallies were also taken out in the country. No prizes for guessing if The Hindu covered them with the same vigor or not.

The Lok Sabha passed the CAB on December 9th. Since December 10th, in addition to all of the above news published in the guise of views, following are the headlines of just some of the views that were published as Editorials & Op-eds:

  1. Dec 10th: Editorial titled “Unequal, unsecular: On Citizenship Amendment Bill
  2. Dec 11th: Congress and Partition (“The idea of religious identity being the basis for Partition has less to do with the Congress…”)
  3. 11th: A patently unconstitutional piece of legislation (“The CAB, 2019 has a sinister political logic — the first de jure attempt towards a Hindu Rashtra”. Although I wonder how does giving refuge to Christians make us a Hindu Rashtra!)
  4. 11th: Wholly subordinated to the majoritarian nation
  5. Dec 12th: A law not based on religion (about the 1950 act)
  6. Dec 13th: In the name of a majority
  7. Dec 16th: Editorial titled “Many mutinies”
  8. Dec 17th: CAA isn’t a Hindu-Muslim issue
  9. Dec 18th : Left to the whims of the executive
  10. Dec 18th: Time to defend India’s secularism (This one was by the CM of Kerala!)
  11. Dec 19th: Are fears over the CAA misplaced?
  12. Dec 19th: The last bastions of Secular India
  13. Dec 19th: Jairam Ramesh Interview – NRC places an intolerable burden on the poor and vulnerable sections
  14. Dec 20th: In thrall to its own violence
  15. Dec 20th: A tale of two demands
  16. Dec 23rd: Mixed Signals on NRC
  17. Dec 23rd: The three-step communal game plan
  18. Dec 23rd: A Hindu critique of Hindutva
  19. Dec 24th: North East in Turmoil
  20. Dec 26th: Dangerous Doublespeak
  21. Dec 26th: An Act that fails the Constitution
  22. Dec 26th: The return of the Secular
  23. Dec 27th: What are the amendments that the CAA needs
  24. Dec 28th: In CAA narrative, finding the judiciary’s lost voice (Virtually bullying the SC!)
  25. Dec 28th: Fuel to the fire: On Cabinet announcement on NPR
  26. 30th: Arms and the man: On Gen Rawat’s comments
  27. 30th: A dangerous new low in state-sponsored hate
  28. 31st: Uncovering the CAA’s larger stratagem
  29. Jan 1st: An anatomy of anti-CAA protests
  30. Jan 1st: It is everybody’s constitution
  31. Jan 2nd: The abiding power of protest
  32. Jan 4th: Defying the legalisation of the unjustifiable
  33. Jan 4th: Missing the wood: On anti-CAA resolution in Kerala Assembly

Dear reader, do you want to know how many pro-CAA articles were published by The Hindu in this period? A grand total of One. Yes, ONE. An article by Subramaniam Swamy on Dec 21st – “A premature denouncement of the Citizenship Act

What I have presented to you in this article is perhaps 50% of what The Hindu has done during the past one month. The myriad news articles trying to cover-up for the violence and the myriad views trying to spread falsehood, create fear would take an eternity to cover. However, it was imperative that this documentation was done – to showcase to the world how lopsided and one-sided coverage of this issue is being perpetrated by The Hindu. It has been proven time and again, that the last entity on earth to lecture about “two sides” is The Hindu.

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