After maintaining silence over the senseless cutting of trees during Christmas, the mainstream media has suddenly rediscovered its voice for ‘rationality’ and ‘reason’. The subject of its ire this time around is a ritual observed by Hindus in Rajasthan. Hindustan Times journalist Aabshar H Quazi harangued Hindus over the foundation ceremony of Devnarayan temple to be constructed in Ratlai region of Jhalawar district.
Although the journalist refrains from overtly insulting Hindus, the tone and tenor makes abundantly clear what the motive of the report is. There is a subtle demeaning slant throughout the entire report that is hard to miss. Hindustan Times attempts to show the Hindus in poor light because they chose to perform the ceremony as per their religious beliefs.
The report says that milk, desi ghee and curd totaling 11,000 liters were used in the ceremony. “We collected 11,000 litres of milk, desi ghee and curd from the Gujjar community members and even others for the foundation ceremony of the Devnarayan temple as a mark of reverence for deity Lord Devnarayan,” Ramlal Gujjar, spokesperson of the temple construction committee, told the reporter.
The cost of it all amounted to about Rs. 1.5 lakh. Then the journalist proceeded to ask him “if the exercise did not seem like a gargantuan waste of resources”. It is a bizarre question that wouldn’t have been posed to Ramlal if he were a believer of any other religion. It is hard to imagine a journalist walking up to a Muslim man on the verge of slaughtering a goat on Eid and questioning him if he were feeling guilty about forcing the animal through such cruelty.
Ramlal answered the question as any devout Hindu would. “It is not at all a waste as in Gujjar community we pour some milk on deity Devnarayan as it protects our cattle,” he said. The report, although it does not overtly demean the Hindus, appears to have served its purpose as there are tons of people mocking and outraging against the devotees for merely practicing their faith.
There were others who went ahead and called the incident “bizarre”. East Mojo reported, “In a bizarre incident, around 11,000 litres of milk, 1,500 litres of curd and 100 kg of desi ghee were poured into a pit during the foundation ceremony of Devnarayan temple in Rajasthan.”
Times Now was no different. They reported, “Several resources were wasted for the foundation ceremony of Devnarayan temple in Rajasthan. The temple is to be constructed in Ratlai region of Jhalawar district. The ceremony was held on Saturday, by members of the Gujjar community.”
Ordinary Hindus are now being mocked and their religious beliefs are being demeaned and for what exactly? The milk they offered belonged to them, they did not steal it or seize it from anyone. Quite clearly, everyone volunteered to contribute the dairy products and no one was forced against their will. And yet, our mainstream media will go out of their way to attack the religious beliefs of Hindus. It is a trend that has become almost the norm for our mainstream media.
Crackers become an issue only during Diwali. On New Years Eve, it is perfectly acceptable. People are asked to avoid high calories food during Diwali while the same media outlets recommend plum cake recipes on Christmas. Water conservation acquires a feverish pitch only during Holi. Every religious community is allowed to celebrate their festivals in a festive spirit but for Hindus, only moral sermons and pontification are reserved.
Clearly, the mainstream media feels a perverse joy in mocking Hindus for their religious beliefs and spreading negativity during Hindu festivals. Now, it appears, it is no longer limited to festivals alone but has also transgressed into the territory of ordinary Hindus performing religious ceremonies according to their customs.