Came across this piece in Swarajya. The author, Aravindan Neelakandan, opening paragraph, “After the Dadri incident, the politics of beef has taken a central stage in Indian politics like never before. Just like the 2002-Gujarat riots were made the first-riots in the era of politicized TV channels, the Dadri lynching in 2015 has become the first beef controversy in the era of social media and digital networks. Media has succeeded in making an isolated event, probably with localized causes including personal rivalry, into a national debate on beef and cow slaughter.” is sharp.
Indeed an isolated act of crime and law and order with arguably totally different causes has been hijacked by a section of the media into a raging debate. Its a grim reminder of the ‘Modi is evil’ days of watching televised “debates” where Modi used to be the sole topic of discussion for the media as if they suffered some kind of Modi OCD. I guess despite such efforts, the fact that Modi was elected to the highest post in the country shocked these Modi hating people out of their senses.
Along with a bunch of random writers / poets / film makers there are historians like Irfan Habib whosinterview in ToI is nothing less than shocking. Making unsubtantiated and baseless claims he goes to ridiculous levels to make his argument. Even the publicity hungry RBI guv have jumped onto the bandwagon of pointing out the rising incidents of “intolerance”.So why referring as public hungry??? Isnt the mandate of the Guv to restrict himself only to his domain ? ? Happened to read his speech given at the convocation ceremony of IIT – D where he himself admits to the ‘moral hazard’ he is up against as such speeches are typically forgotten soon. So to make it unforgettable he has to say something out of the ordinary. And voila .. !! You add fuel to the already raging “make believe” fire stoked quite competently by the countrys main stream media. By doing this you ensure that you stay in the limelight and also earn brownie points with your potential employers (his term ends in Sep 2016). And this definitely isnt the first instance whereby he has tried usurping limelight. I am sure this wont be his last. Then there is Moody’s. Lesser said the better.
What started out with the Maharastra govt implementing an old law has been quickly morphed into a communal issue by the media. Sane voices like the ones of even veteran journalists who argue that its an unnecessary controversy have been drowned out. Random law and order events have been linked. As if its a pre meditated strike. Random writers / poets / film makers who were in deep slumber when the country withstood assaults from terrorists and even other fundamentalists who even stopped Salman Rushdie from attending the Jaipur litfest or even Taslima Nasreen who faces constant threats and assaults. The above mentioned random writers / film makers / poets would see a surge in credibility if they return their awards in protest of these events too. But the selective outrage and amnesia they follow just makes them sound hollow or what Anupam Kher points out as ‘farzi’.
Glad to see a growing list of famous personalities who have rose up to sharply criticise the above mentioned random artiste’s. Eminent personalities like Madhavan Nair, Vidhya Balan, Anupam Kher, Mark Tully all have sharply criticized and referred to the theatrics as “manufactured”. Then there are Padma awardees like Physicist Bikash Sinha who have lashed out against the “Awards Wapasi Gang” that returning awards in such a manner is “an insult to the country“. Playwright Daya Prakash Sinha says“Where were these people when Kashmiri Hindus were being thrown out of their homes, during the Emergency or the anti-Sikh riots? This is selective sensitivity that is mostly against PM Modi, just to malign him and deliberately tarnish his international reputation,“Infact a campaign called as ‘Jawab Do’ has been planned on November 7 to question the selective outrage practised by these artistes.
Midnightbreakfast blog has highlighted how biased reportage is a gaining momentum these days. Unverified information is quickly highlighted to sensationalise and blow something out of proportion. Curiously, they coincide elections (current instance coincides with the crucial Bihar polls). Law and order problems should be dealt with severely. Highlighting only certain criminal acts and linking them to totally unrelated issues and then generalising them is pattern getting established.