Intro: In the past months, without waiting for evidence, the blame of every attack involving minorities is on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Church in Mangalore attacked, will Modi answer?” shouted an anchor on a popular news channel. “As a Christian, suddenly I’m a stranger in my own country” cried a retired IPS officer who was Mumbai Police Commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab, named Julio Ribeiro, putting the blame on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without a proof of any accusation that he levelled up on the elected representative of about 1.25 billion Indians.
And these are mere introductory instances. In the past 3 months or so, for every attack involving a minority is concerned, the onus is shifted straight to the Prime Minister. Earlier, it seemed to me that the Media had become a powerful weapon when it came to fighting critical problems in our country. But I, along with many others were left disappointed when we found that media is “selectively” raising issues to defame the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
According to data released by the Delhi police, in 2014 206 Hindu temples, 30 Sikh Gurdwaras, 14 mosques and 3 Churches were robbed in Delhi. How many of us are aware of it.
The church attacks have been extropolated, and ignored in this biased narrative, in the past month that went by, are the achievements of the Modi government which were “conveniently” ignored by the media.
Here is a list of what happened in the past week (15-21 March 2015), but was not highlighted :
1. In the budget session, Lok Sabha saw 121 per cent productivity (highest in over a decade)
2. Cabinet approved Black Money bill that proposes 10 years jail, 300 per cent penalty.
3. Narendra Modi (an Indian leader) comes top in global survey of leaders, Xi Jinping second.
4. Government cancelled licences of 1,142 NGOs for not filing their taxes. Wholesale inflation drops to 2.06% in February 2015.
5. FDI doubles to $4.48 billion in January, highest in 29 months.
6. Mining bills clear in Rajya Sabha, no more Coalgates.
7. Cabinet gives nod to repeal over 700 archaic laws.
Many might not even know about this, because all you have been reading this week and earlier was how churches are attacked, and how “PM Modi is responsible for it”. For the churches attacked in Delhi, they were vandalised either by drunkards or the crib that was charred due to short circuit. But without investigating or even looking up for the details, social media and journalists painted a communal picture of Narendra Modi. Even the suit that he wore on Republic Day was prized Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 10 Lakhs. The highly unfortunate rape of an elderly nun in Kolkata was politicised and the Archbishop gave it a communal angle, clearing Mamta Banerjee’s name and blaming the central government of Modi for it (for people who don’t know, law and order is a state government responsibility). Not only him, but Hindu outfits were blamed too. However, no one apologised after Muslim men from Bangladesh were arrested in Mumbai. While the man is busy pursuing his development agenda, it makes me wonder, why venom is being spewed against Modi.
I may agree that the policies made by the Modi government might be wrong. There might be flaws in the formation, implementation and execution of the blueprints. And for them, Modi and his government should be criticised. But he should not be condemned for the crimes his government has not committed. The unnecessary insecurity that has been created among minorities (Christians being the latest ones) will deepen the divide among various religious sections in the society. Media should realise that if the Indian Constitution gives them the Right of Freedom of Expression, it also imposes a duty on them to broadcast the truth without indulging in rumour-mongering.
Media is an adhesive that joins the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary with the people of the nation. It is the fourth pillar of democracy and the responsibility that comes with this power needs to be comprehended sooner than later.
Anuubhav Nanda ( The writer is a Jalandhar based columnist)