‘The Indian Express’ newspaper had this headlines the morning after a terrorist was hanged, ‘And they hanged Yakub’. Not for nothing has the main stream media (MSM) earned a bad name for itself. What does ‘they’ imply here? If there is a they, then there has to be a we ? It is such a loaded statement to make. Since they hanged.. they’ve got to be the bad guys and we the good guys. In the now famous words of George Bush, ..either you are with us or the terrorists.. comes to mind. The paper carried some other stuf like some views of a random guy who says with so many attending his funeral its the start of something new??? I mean what is that about ? Pathetic stuff, not expected from a paper like the Express.
Notwithstanding, the merits or de-merits of capital punishment, Yakub Memon received a fair trial. The case passed through all possible legal avenues in India. The SC of India even opened well past midnight which is unprecedented just because a few powerful lawyers personally requested the CJI to consider their final plea. He was found guilty in every court of the land and finally the apex court of being a co – conspirator in the most dastardly terrorist attack ever in the history of independent India. 250+ Indian citizens lost their lives and many more injured.
The media frenzy around the case almost built a narrative whereby Yakub was getting projected as an innocent who was being victimised. Yakub turned himself in was being highlighted athough there are conflicting reports on the circumstances under which Yakub was apprehended. Did he surrender or was he nabbed? A deal between him and the authorities is also highlighted. What deal is being referred to here? The fact that Yakub is being hanged despite the deal got highlighted quite prominently. Now, from a layman point of view, there can be a “deal” only if the cuplrit accepts his complicity and turns approver. But Yakub never accepted his complicity which is why the case was on in the courts which he had lost. Another angle which received publicity was a letter which was supposedly written by a former intelligence agent and which got published after his death which states the help received from Yakub’s side.
Our courts work on the basis of evidence. If all his expensive lawyers couldnt establish his innocence then may his lawyers messed up big time or he was plain guilty.
Indian media has been at the receiving end and has been criticised from most quarters. Biased reportage and imposing views and opinions on the news consuming public is downright unaccepatable. If this doesnt stop then the exodus of the ‘mango men’ towards a more democratic new source, i.e. social media would become irreversible.