Indian media is spreading hate against minority: Ravish Kumar
The majoritarian ideological control over the Indian media is complete and it is spewing venom against minorities, a senior Indian journalist has said. “Journalists are not journalists anymore. They are behaving like a gang of criminals spreading hate in the society,” NDTV India’s managing editor and popular television anchor Ravish Kumar told Khaleej Times ahead of his appearance at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) that opens today.
Kumar, who has a reputation as a strong critic of the rightwing Narendra Modi government, will be speaking about the ‘Future of media’ on November 9 at the SIBF. He will share the stage with Sonia Singh, another prominent television anchor from India.
In a telephonic interview, Kumar lashed out at the “henchmen media” that has stopped doing its job – which is seeking information and questioning the government.
“The Indian media has stooped to its lowest. It has become the BJP’s (Bharathiya Janata Party) political wing. Their ideologies are the same,” said Kumar, a recipient of the prestigious Magsaysay Award this year.
When asked whether it was a sweeping remark, Kumar said the media is delivering a “religious majority journalism”.
“If you follow their content and debate on prime time television, you will know they are not asking a single question to people in power. Instead, they are spreading hate and intimidating minorities.
“It has become normal for media to hunt for opportunities where crimes committed by minorities can be blown out of proportion and played up on prime time.”
Ravish said India’s English media, which used to remain largely secular, has turned overtly communal. “Now, there is no difference between the English and Hindi media. They are all pushing the Hindu narrative and having debates from a pro-Hindu angle.”
Calling out the blatantly anti-Muslim hashtags and debates peddled on prime time, Kumar said if went unchecked, “Indian democracy and secularism as we know will be over”.
“It is high-time Indian people including NRIs sit up and take notice of the Indian media’s malicious agenda. I implore people to stop watching television and reading newspapers because there is no truthful information in them. It is mere propaganda.”
So, is citizen journalism the alternative source of information? Kumar said he does not have much trust as it is the “same public that come to beat us up when we question and criticise the government”.
“People say I am anti-Modi. I say, I am pro-People. I don’t want to interfere in people’s political choices. If they want to love Modi, they can. But my question to every Indian is why do they want such a media that has no spine?”
In a media landscape that Kumar claims is “99 per cent pro-Modi,” lone voices like his is increasing getting drowned in the shrill mindless cheering for the BJP government.
“The battle that I am waging sometimes seams meaningless because we don’t have the resources. But I keep fighting because I don’t have a choice. I will fight as long as I know what I am doing is right,” he concluded.
Courtesy : Khaleej Times