This isn’t journalism, Western media

Edward Said famously wrote in Orientalism that all Western discourse about the East was complicit in the aims of European imperialism. The behaviour of Western media vis-à-vis India is an indicator to that closed, imperialistic mindset. It often goes into the slam-India mode and blatantly questions its “secular fabric” without any reality check, eventually defeating the very tenet of objective journalism, which is to report what you see.

From the edits in the New York Times in the United States to the reports in the DW media network in Germany, there are innumerable instances of resorting to naming and shaming India based on unsubstantiated utterances and writings of a few but powerful anti-India propagandists. From Article 370 in Kashmir to Delhi riots and coronavirus pandemic, where a particular Islamic outfit has been blamed for causing a large number of Covid-19 cases in India, there are vested elements trying to give each and every move of the Narendra Modi government a communal colour and firing up passions of the minority community. All this comes at a time when the need is to fight corona and make the maximum survive this pandemic.

While India should have been making efforts to put the country back on track, the situation demands that Indians put politics and religion in the back burner, for now, and engage in nation-building. Sadly, many still indulge in “word-throwing” so much so that the government’s effort to quarantine the Tablighis is being compared with “genocide”, enough to get the Western journalists back to their job of slamming India. But have we done anything wrong in quarantining? Was that done on the pretext of religion? Were Tablighis the first and the last to be quarantined in India? Hasn’t India enforced its lockdown and strict quarantine even before the Tablighi incident spiked India’s corona tally? Did the Western media look into all these before writing an “armchair edit” and coming out with panel discussions based on the tweets of a few vested activists and intellectuals?

Unfortunately, they followed the latter and made India the villain at a time when the world is looking at this country for leadership in the battle against coronavirus. Little do they realise that they are indirectly being responsible for fuelling hate-crimes against corona warriors in India and also encouraging a section of minority to blatantly flout the health guidelines in the name of “saving Islam”. Journalism’s main tenet is to get informed and inform others. This is no journalism, Western media!

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