By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
A ‘well known’ Hindutva protagonist masquerading as a journalist passed away yesterday resulting in a message of ‘condolences and ‘tribute’ right from the Prime Minister and Home Minister to ‘progressive’ ‘liberals’ expressing the grief of his untimely passing away. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest but the fact of the matter was he was also covid infected. The prime minister and Home minister paid their tribute by terming him a ‘brave’ journalist and that his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.
A champion of ‘liberal’ ‘secular’ who has been constantly being abused by the Sanghi trolls asked the prime minister to compensate the journalist’s family with Rupees Five Crore. The champion suggested that he was ‘worried’ about the ‘daughters’ of the anchor and hence the government must support his family.
On social media many people started ‘celebrating’ his death. I don’t know whether there was any trend on twitter like this but it is a fact that many people expressed happiness though most of the people who were his victims showed sympathy. One ‘philosopher’ condemns those ‘celebrating’ the death of the journalist as ‘OBC’ way and one does not know where have OBCs come into picture.
It is said that the death of anyone is not celebrated and our ‘culture’ is ‘respectful’ to all those who passed away and we do not speak ill of the deceased.
I never knew about this as I have seen a culture of demonising people and celebrating their deaths even if many felt they had become irrelevant. The largest number of abuses which Indian ‘savarnas’ have reserved is for former prime minister late V P Singh for his ‘misdeed’ of accepting the Mandal Commission Report. Even when they have dismantled the government sector yet VP Singh still gets the abuses. The other minister who got the same was Arjun Singh for implementing reservation in higher education and institutions of ‘merit’. In the last thirty years, if we have lost our sense of sanity and reasoning, celebrating lynching and murders, it is the biggest contribution of RSS and various offshoots it has created. They were the first to use social media and made it the biggest tool to intimidate the opponents. Now, those who offer counter-narratives speak the same language and hence the fight is getting dirtier and dirtier.
Some people may ‘celebrate’ but most of the people have moaned the deaths. But then the media only goes to those who are visible.
In 1984, after Indira Gandhi’s death, there were rumours and it went in the two Sikhs celebrated her murder. So ‘Hindus’ retaliated to that.
Every massacre had a story and justification. Earlier media would not give credence to such stories but these days the media itself became a tool to spread hatred and division. And our prime-time heroes were doing that without any shame and guilty feeling.
What is shocking for me is the demand that a ‘champion’ liberal made on his blog that this journalist’s family should get compensation of five crore rupees from the government.
It is shocking to hear this as all these ‘mainstream’ loudspeakers’ whether supporting Modi or opposing him, working for their respective ‘Banias’ who have crores of rupees.
Every channel knows its strength and weakness which actually happen according to the political climate of the country.
Right now, Hindutva is flourishing and the Bania owned media used this for increasing their TRPs and getting maximum patronisation from the ruling party. So, if any journalist who work in these ‘organised’ media houses and spreading canard and lies, definitely cannot be without the financial backing.
The shamelessness of those who tried to look ‘liberal’ is that the man did not ask India Today Group to compensate the family of the man who passed away but asked the government of India to do so.
This reflects two things. One, he tried to balance things that look ‘great’, I am that I am ‘pained’ at your death and second, he protected the business interest of these ‘private’ vampires who have billions of rupees by just denying people their right to free and unbiased information. Why should the government pay to compensate people who are working in private companies or big media houses where their pay packages must be in lakhs of rupees per month? After all, it is not for any other reasons that we have seen most mediocre and unprofessional people being termed as ‘journalists’ just because they have helped unleashed the Hindutva propaganda on television channels and justified their lies. These are the people who will justify even the killings and blame the victims for all the problems.
Hypocrisy of ‘liberals’ in the media
Now, I come to another point and the hypocrisy of our ‘liberal’ friends in the media. Just yesterday a report was published by an important online publication that between April 1st, 2021 to April 28, 2021, a total of 52 journalists died due to Covid while doing their groundwork. The report also suggests that One Hundred one journalists passed away between April 1st, 2020 to April 28th, 2021, on a line of their duty because of Covid. The largest share of these deaths came from UP-19, Telangana-17, Maharashtra 13, Odisha 9, Delhi 8, Andhra Pradesh 6 and Tamilnadu-Assam four each. Most of these journalists are with local papers or channels and perhaps stingers too.
I have not heard a single sentence from even known media bodies about compensation to their families.
Will our liberal or communal give a full programme on them asking the government to pay them as per frontline workers.
Of course, there are other peoples too who laid down their lives online of their duty but what is surprising that we have not heard stories about the families of these working journalists and how can we seek ‘five crores’ for them, after all every one speaks from his ‘class’ angle apart from caste fraternity?
I simply do not have ‘capacity to ‘listen or watch’ these ‘champions’ whether ‘liberals’ or ‘sanghis’ but whatever input I got through various posts and clippings available on Social Media should be not only archived but put before a Commission.
It is high time when we seek an international commission on ‘media’, its roles, responsibilities and accountability.
I am sure, if anyone who is following or observing Indian media particularly the ‘Mahanayaks’ of prime times, would vouch that most of them need to be prosecuted for promoting hatred and animosities against minorities and marginalised. The hashtags, the timelines and the way they do ‘lynching’ at their ‘Kangaroo Courts’ at the prime time around 9 pm IST, deserve an International public Trial involving known jurists as well as media personalities. India’s media, both explicitly and implicitly, has encouraged the warmongers, hate-mongers against minorities and marginalised. Most of these heroes are, actually the biggest threat to our democracy as they seek accountability from dissenters and opposition parties while playing the role of ruling party’s spokesperson and giving them a free hand to launch their hatred and calumny against minorities and opposition parties.
It is these champions whose only topic for discussion was to look into ‘conspiracy’ theory where Muslims are involved. So, during the elections, they would look for the Pakistan angle or a Jihadi angle to blame all the Muslims of India and seek their ‘response’. During the entire Covid journey of India from March 2020, you can see how these media houses gave space to rogues, thugs and mischief mongers.
In the beginning, they found a ‘conspiracy’ in the ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ conference in Delhi and every Muslim was converted into a Tablighi and then accused of spreading the ‘viruses.
Every day, new theories were being planted through their WhatsApp network which were later on being picked up by these ‘Darbari media warriors’. It has never happened when these hatemongers got ‘mainstreamed’ and ‘glorified’. The prime minister or his ministers have not spoken a single word about the huge number of deaths due to Coronavirus. He remains silent. Instead, he would give you ‘Gyan’ about drinking hot water, ‘wear masks’ and make distance while campaigning heavily in these elections to defeat everyone. The only agenda in the last so many years of the Sanghi government in power is to fight elections, win them and defeat everyone. So right from galli-mohalla elections to Parliament, they want to win all and obliterate the opposition. In their zeal to do so, our Sanghi warriors ‘wearing’ journalist caps have come handy, forgetting all their media ethics and professionalism.
The hatred was not that much as it exists today but the right-wing lobby always weave stories about ‘celebrating’ deaths of their ‘icons’. Of course, they started the process when they were never pained by people’s death.
During the anti CAA-NRC campaign, the cases were filed against activists and every one of them were converted as main conspirators. Many intellectuals and activists are behind the bar for so many years without facing any trials. The chronology of this government was clear. Create problems. Build narrative and promote it through its media and social media. Act on the basis of ‘people’s perception’. Leak specific stories from the intelligence agencies about the opponent. Discussion opposition and dissenters all the time. Vilify them. It is nothing less than massacre. How would people who are facing trials face when the media declare them criminals and try to derail the entire judicial process?
It is the same media who never questioned about Kumbha fair or many other fairs that have been allowed during this period.
It is the same media which supported people’s demand for opening up of temples. It is the same media which for the whole three four months made Sushant Singh Rajput an international issue as if all other issues are dead.
Who is responsible for this criminality?
Definitely, nobody could do so without the blessings of the top leadership which tweet if anything happens. When Arnab Goswami was arrested, he behaved like a king as if nothing could happen to him. He abused a chief minister. He used the gutter level language against Sonia Gandhi and nothing happened for the Sanghi leadership. It promotes such gutter level journalists into heroes by giving them state patronage. If I am not wrong, most of these hate mongers have got huge support and patronage by the top central leadership.
Indian media will have to respond to accountability questions. It cannot evade it. We would not have faced this crisis if the media had spoken its word in advance. It is shamelessly showing IPL except for The New Indian Express which decided. A little-known Bharat Samachar TV channel from Lucknow decided that it would not broadcast any election results and continue to focus on people’s issues related to Covid. But these are exceptions. Tomorrow, they will have the poll results and all of them will be busy. ‘Actors’ will be reading their ‘script’ and you can see an attempt to wash the sins of this criminal negligence. The actor will say, ‘People’ have ‘spoken’. In democracy they are supreme. We are humble. I request our workers to follow the distance and work for the people’. The media will start creating a new narrative. Of course, Rahul Gandhi and Congress should be ready to receive brickbats, adjectives and obituaries from these channels who will continue to target them to please their bosses.
India has proved that capitalist media looks for profit as people, action and deaths for them are just subject and not beyond.
They will not leave their primary task of promoting superstition, Brahmanical values of irrationality and hatred. They will continue with their spinelessness so that the ‘monarch’ is protected and glorified. India is actually a monarchy where people have ‘right to vote’ but with all its institutions compromised who will ever say whether what people say is reflected in the outcome. And that is where the media failed people and betrayed them.
Remember one thing, don’t look for Nayaks or Mahayanayaks in the anchors or darbaris or otherwise. They are just doing their duty but most of them need bhaktas to survive. Most of them have no keen interest in having a reasonable debate or discussion. Don’t expect anything from them right now. Find your own sources and strengthen the alternative media which is free from the corporate culture and is inclusive in terms of India’s diversity whether ethnic, religious, regional or caste. Any organisation that builds individual cult whether media or politics or society is actually against democracy and the collective value system. India needs to come out of this hero worship and the sooner we come out of it, the better for democracy and all.