Tahmina Laskar and Advocate S.Warsi for Kohram.in
While there is collective disillusionment regarding the functioning of media; the disappointments that the mainstream media brings to us each day and the new lows it hits every day is becoming absolutely unbearable. The recent row over malicious Photo and objectionable content against Chhatrapati Shivaji and Bal Thackrey on facebook became really ugly when the members of Shiv Sena in Pune who erupted into violence, injuring civilians, damaging public property and causing losses running into crores.
According to BBC Hindi , at least 193 Buses in Pune City and around 200 Buses in Kolhapur have been damaged by the Angry Shiv Sainiks while protesting against Photo shopped pics of Shivaji Uploaded on Facebook. The alleged Pics have been blocked in India by Facebook.In Pune Shiv Sainiks miscreants pelted stones at Mosques and in Kolhapur Statue of singer Allah Dia Khan was broken.There are news of pelting stones in Muslim areas of Basti Muhalla,Bindu Chowk,Mutton Market.
Left , a Government bus set ablaze by angry Sainiks in June 2014 while on Right Muslims damaging a vehicle during Azad Maidan Protest in 2012
The very news has not been adequately covered and the hooliganism was ignored very conveniently by the mainstream media. News reports too are not accurate in this regard (barring a few).In very few cases action has been taken against Shiv Sena vanadalism.We are unable to find any News report or Live coverage which slightly condemns their riots and hooliganism.State government is silently watching ,Media is only highlighting the alleged Face Book Post and angry Shiv sainiks.
The same media unabashedly streamed in live when there were protests in Azad Maidan in 2012 which turned violent. There were provocative statements and inflammatory headlines all over in the Media against this Azad Maidan incident. On August 14, 2012, Bal Thackrey chief of Shiv Sena and editor of Saamna newspaper published an editorial condemning the Maharashtra government for “bowing” before “anti-national” people who went on the rampage in south Mumbai. He compared the violence with the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai. The media gave ample coverage to such statements of inflammatory nature.
A traffic police Inspector wrote a hateful poem in a local police bulletin of Mumbai. The poem title Azad Maidan was published in Mumbai city police bulletin, Samwad. According to Times of India, the writer of the poem had called Azad Maidan protestors as traitors and snakes and had suggested that they should have been shot.
The secretary of Raza Academy Saaed Noori who had helped the Madina tul Ilm Society to organize protests was apologetic for the incident although he maintained that those vandal elements were not members of Raza Academy.On 9th November 2012, Mumbai Police formally charged 80 people,including Maulana Athar (president of Ulema Board) and Muhammad Saeed Noori (secretary of Raza Academy) before Esplanade court in south Mumbai.It may be noted that these leaders were not directly responsible for the said incident and were held responsible for the riot which was caused by unruly mob while returning to their homes after Protest at Maidan was over.The Mumbai collector sent a notice on 17 April 2014 to Saeed Noori and Ahmed Raza Shaikh of Madina Tulum Foundation, seeking recovery of 2.74 crore (US$460,000) for the damage caused.
Fair enough but one is unable to understand the selective amnesia that the main stream media is suffering from. It defies all logic that why half-truths are being spoken and hooliganism of such scale is being ignored. While the activities in question, done on Facebook are not of the noblest nature, in fact such activities only point to the degradation of the mentality of the perpetrators. The law and order will take its own recourse in booking those who are responsible meanwhile nothing justifies the vandalism and hooliganism that these Shiv Sainiks are upto.
And surprisingly unlike Saaed Noori in Azad Maidan nobody in present case is even remotely apologetic for such acts. The nation does not always want to know as claimed by some news anchors on the top of their voice but this time the nation really wants to know the reason why media is sitting dumb and enjoying the show?
Can Police hold the main leaders responsible in the present case by following the precedent of Azad Maidan case? Can Police charge the Udhav Thackrey and his organization Shiv Sena vandalism for the loss of properties worth of crores?
The nation wants to know that has the law and order really come to nought that such a situation of petty nature blows into full-fledged vandalism?
There are different brushes for painting the same picture and the picture in this case comes out very different. I may be judged by my name for being so caustic about the group the media is trying so hard to prove as nationalists but the problem is that I look at vandalism through the same looking glass and just because the endorsement here differs my picture does not differ. This appalling pick and chose variety of journalism needs to be condemned from all corners of civil society. Being blind to faults of someone will make the society habitually blind to all faults eventually. Kindly conform to logic and question the intentions before it becomes perpetually blind.