The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari has advised Muslim journalists to do, on their own, some investigative journalism to dig out facts about terror blasts in the various parts of the country. Addressing Muslims journalists during an Iftar party at JIH headquarters on August 3, he said, “A section of media is looking hell-bent to witch-hunt a particular community within minutes or hours of a terror blast…. Despite the fact that Hindutva extremists have been found involved in various terror blasts across the country including Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Dargah, Malegaon and Samjhauta Express and several Hindutva extremists were killed while making bombs or carrying bombs in the past, yet any blast takes place and police and media rather than probing the incidents professionally and objectively, they start pointing fingers directly or indirectly to Muslims.” (Twocircles.net) – It can be said here that it is not proper to give Muslim or Non-Muslim colour to journalism as a journalist is journalist; his duty is to report events and incidents and analyse them honestly and comment on them in an unbiased manner.
But practically it is not so
It is alright as far as only statement is concerned, but practically it is not so; had it been practically true, the JIH Amir had not to make this suggestion. It remains a fact that the mainstream or national media of this country happens to be characterless and dishonest; it is a product for sale; during delicate situations government agencies run it in accordance with their set lines on the basis of their strong purchasing power; they also do this in the name of “national interest”. The minds of people associated with media are affected; therefore they cannot report events and incidents honestly as they have no interest in bringing the facts to the fore. The most recent example is reporting from Pune. Some minor blasts took place there on August 1; media persons started taking the name of “Indian Mujahideen” without any second thought; then investigating agencies immediately declared that neither Hindutva extremists nor Maoists had any hand in these blasts; and that it was the work of “Indian Mujahideen” and in other words of Muslims. And the entire media exerted all its powers quite brazenly to carry this theory further while the ground realities clearly pointed towards the mischief of anti-Muslim elements.
Why this work is necessary
This is why Muslim journalists should bring the realities to the world, on their own. But the question is how Muslim journalists can do this work. They have neither necessary wherewithal nor have they access. The Muslim journalists associated with mainstream media are compelled to work in strict conformity with the policies set by their respective channels and papers; even if they prepare some stories (of their liking), their media do not release them. The access of Muslim journalists is not limited. Even if they gather the realities, they can get them published only in Urdu newspapers, which have only Muslim readership. That is, they cannot influence agencies and the government. Undoubtedly, these are the impediments before Muslim journalists. But despite this, Muslim journalists should fulfil their responsibilities, as far as feasible, towards the delicate issues having far-reaching importance. Whether or not there is any major advantage of these stories finding place in Urdu newspapers, one great benefit is that the record of history will be set right and future historians and researchers will feel compelled to write that the Muslims had been countering the allegations levelled against them but the mainstream media had not been publishing those ground realities rather used to suppressed them.
13/ 08/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf