Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh on Saturday distanced himself from the deplorable comments made by his father Yograj Singh. He made a statement to that effect on the occasion of his birthday. He said that the remarks were made in his personal capacity and he does not share the ideologies of his father.
While Yuvraj Singh does not specifically mention the statement made by Yograj Singh he is referring to, it appears safe to assume he is referring to the instance where Yograj made derogatory comments against Hindus and engaged in hate speech.
“Inki aurate take-take ke bhaw bikti thi” (their women were sold for two cents). When their women and daughters were abducted by people like Ahmed Shah Durrani and sold off for a paltry sum, it was we Sikhs who saved them. These are the people who have betrayed us. This community has been slaves for thousands of years,” Yograj Singh had said.
But the mainstream media, however, twisted itself up in knots trying to whitewash and even shamelessly hide what Yograj Singh had said even after Yuvraj Singh said that he was himself saddened and upset by the comments. One would assume that the media would report accurately on what was said at least then. But consistent with its record, it went out of its way to avoid mentioning the precise statements that elicited the response from Yuvraj.
Zee News, for instance, reported that, “Former Team India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has apologised for his father Yograj Singh’s extremely critical remarks concerning the farmers’ protest and wished for early resolution of their issues.” Nowhere in the report do they mention the anti-Hindu speech made by Yograj.
According to Zee News, “This clarification from Yuvraj came days after Yograj Singh urged the Central Government to listen to the demands of the farmers, and backed sportspersons who were returning their awards to show support with the protesting farmers.” The report makes it appear the hate speech was never made.
Instead, the quote by Yograj that is mentioned is: “Farmers are demanding the right thing, the government should listen to them. It is really high time that the government should come up with solutions in this regard and I back all those sportspersons who are returning their prestigious award.” An unaware reader would come to the conclusion that Yuvraj Singh had made the statement because his father said the Central Government should listen to farmers, which is definitely not the case.
India Today reported on the matter similarly. They said, “This comes after Yograj Singh on Monday urged the Central Government to listen to the demands of the farmers, and backed sportspersons who were returning their awards to show support with the protesting farmers.” And then proceeded to cite the same quote as Zee News. Again, no mention of the hate speech against Hindus.
Times of India, reproducing PTI’s report, was kind enough mention that Yuvraj’s statement was in response to “unsavoury comments” made by his father at a rally but did not mention the exact words. And “unsavoury comments” is an extremely mild way of putting it. It was hate speech and yet, TOI would not say it as it is.
NDTV, reproducing ANI’s report, went a step further. They said that the statement by Yuvraj Singh was in response to “his father Yograj Singh endorsing the sportspersons returning their awards to support the agitation.” Again, a deliberate effort was made to obfuscate the matter and suppress the hate speech that was made by Yograj.
Thus, there is clearly an organised effort underway to suppress the hate speech that was made by Yograj Singh against Hindus. From Yuvraj Singh’s statement, it is abundantly clear that he as not distancing from supporting farmers on the matter but the derogatory comments made by his father against Hindus. And yet, the mainstream media would have us believe that the former cricketer was distancing himself from his father’s stance on the protests.
It is, of course, consistent with the media’s penchant of denying the rampant Hinduphobia prevalent in public discourse. Confronted by undeniable and irrefutable evidence of hinduphobia, the media’s first reaction is to deny that it ever happened. In this case as well, the media is pretending that Yuvraj Singh was not referring the hate speech made by Yograj Singh but the latter’s comments on sportsperson returning their awards.