New Delhi: To talk about prejudices and pride, including false ones, of western media is nothing new.
In the Indian context, they have given a goal to themselves to lambaste Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi's commitment to Hindu credentials is one factor responsible for this. A section of website writers and Indian media also ape some of these prejudices.
It has come to light yet again when the western media virtually forgot to cover the Covid crisis revisiting the US, which has already suffered a colossal blow as the so-called superpower in Afghanistan. It may be relevant here to state that the concept of 'peace journalism' actually harms journalism itself. If promoting 'peace' or just one idea becomes your goal, it is easy to turn biased. I call this 'Sickularism'.
In some contexts where a Chief Minister is known as a good host, one could go a bit further and call it -'fish fry journalism'.
Now, the US has seen a major hike in Delta variant cases, and over one lakh people have been hospitalised in the last few months. Like what happened in India in April-May, there is oxygen and bed shortages, but where are media reports?
In August, there were major challenges for US authorities in Florida, Texas (short of beds), and Georgia. Similar reports poured in from Alabama and Houston, but nothing in detail – forget the 'drama' the fourth pillar had demonstrated while covering the human tragedy in India.
In places like Florida, the crematorium is overwhelmed, and locals have complained that bodies are just being kept one above the other on social media.
Florida also saw about 227 daily Covid deaths, and on August 26, the province reported over 900 Covid deaths. But, its selective amnesia and the vanishing act of men and women with lens and pen and paper all over!
In the last six to eight months, there have been a 23 per cent increase in Covid deaths in Florida and about 77 per cent of all ICU beds in the US are occupied, but remember the contrasting manner the media covered things in India only a few months before.
Even Delhi's ivory tower experts – who rejoiced corrupt regimes in power for years – had compared Modi's so-called non-performance with that in New Zealand or Singapore. Even Hindutva issues were linked to the Covid crisis, but now there is silence.
There have been reports of higher casualties and a bigger number of hospitalisation from Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Hawaii.
In the 24 hours between August 28 and 29, the United States recorded over 1,50,000 fresh cases of pandemic cases and 1,100 deaths, the highest such figures since March, but the media seemed to have gone on 'sickular holidays'.
The Indian liberals who shook heaven and earth over their assault on 'freedom' over the Pegasus row's false and orchestrated drama.
There have been some suggestions that there have been 'under reporting' of these Covid deaths in the US as well. In contrast, of course, India has come a long way since those gory days. In India, on average, over a crore that is 10 million per day, are getting vaccinated. The number speaks for itself as many European countries may not have so much population.
Worst is, the same media is respecting the sentiment of graveyards. But in India, such instances were highlighted with caustic remarks against the Hindu rituals and the government of the day.
There are still 'sickular' elements around. Just question them casually how is Covid situation in Mumbai, Pune or Kolkata; their response would be it's much better than Uttar Pradesh, where bodies were floating in river Ganga. Yes, the target is either Narendra Modi or his party colleague Yogi Adityanath.
They do not also remember India has a state called Kerala, where most performing people under the globe are in power. In recent times, cases have increased from 17,106 to 32,801 per day. There are apprehensions that these are likely to go up to 40,000 per day in September. The southern state witnessed 1,795 deaths due to delay in admission to hospitals. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in five districts is over 20 per cent and above 15 per cent in seven districts.
Rest all are sacred cows! One can change the 'mammal' name if cow sounds too much of a Hindu Bhakti.