The claim of a channel and its action

‘ZeeNews’ – This is perhaps the oldest of private TV channels. Its claim nowadays is that it is different from all other existing news channels and reports incidents and developments in a quiet neutral manner; that it does not indulge in sensationalisation, prompting and colouring of news. It has reiterated all these claims while reporting Hyderabad bomb blasts from the evening of 21 February till late night. But if we present a gist of the colour and tone of its whole night reporting, it would be like this: “These blasts prove that the roots of terrorism in the country are very deep and strong. They have links abroad; Pakistan, Dubai and Riyadh are their centres, wherefrom they get funds and these funds are used to propagate a particular ideology…. These blasts cannot be carried out without help from inside. Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Indian Mujahideen and other groups are active here. The recent report has it that Pakistan beheaded two of our army jawans and people belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad were present there….”

All wore the same colour
All the channels wore the same colour but none of others had been claiming piety; only ZeeNews staked such a claim, for it wanted to surpass others in concocting false stories, reporting sensational “discoveries” and holding criminal fake groups ascribed to a particular religious entity. However it is common that TV channels and English and Hindi newspapers compete with one another in promptings after each terror blast; every channel and every newspaper wants to surpass others in this job. Some English newspapers also claim courage and neutrality. For example, The Indian Express, whose masthead carries “Journalism of courage”, also does not want to lag behind others in reporting sensational news and spreading absurd long stories after terror dramas. It has never happened that this newspaper carried an investigation on its own after a terror incident, or challenged any story of police and secret agencies from any aspect while reporters of this newspaper make all efforts to hair-split the political and fund scandals so much so that they grill police and secret agencies personnel. But they do not see through any other angle in cases of terrorism.

This mentality is common
And why this media alone? The fact remains that after every incident of violence, great commentators, analysts, former bureaucrats and former ambassadors appear standing in the same line in holding responsible a particular ideology and its followers. Everyone’s wisdom, intelligence, honesty, nobility, and modesty surrender here. None says, even by mistake, that some other terror groups have come to the fore; they too should be investigated. It appears that this unwritten national policy on terror cases has been adopted and it is at work. This is the extraordinary situation prevailing in India which those Muslim leaders cannot comprehend who hold big conferences to demand surface-level demands; however silent Muslim intellectuals and scholars will have to think over it deeply. Today the biggest problem facing Indian Muslims is this which is related to their future in this country. One good factor is that amidst this jaundiced lot of media persons and political commentators there are many honest and truth-loving journalists, analysts and commentators who though speak the truth in low voice today, would definitely support the cause if Muslim leadership makes some concerted efforts for the betterment of the situation. Today Muslims should make only one demand: ‘honest enquiry into terror incidents of the last ten years and the blasts taking place these days’.

28/02/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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