Hate Speech is Okay but Journalists Debating on It is Not Okay: Boycot of Select Journalists by I.N.D.I.A

Dividing people on the basis of religion and caste must be condemned by all but selective targeting of some journalists for political gains requires an even bigger condemnation.

Abusing Sanatanis is as bad as trying to divide Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims.

Day in and day out we observe how the politicians are spewing venom by insulting the faith of one community or the other and then they do not wish to have public debates on what they are saying on public platforms.

By trying to take a high ground by calling out some journalists for their political bias would mean that none of the other journalists have a political bias.

Looks like, the Politicians have forgotten that it’s Public Opinion which brings them to power and it is Public Opinion that pulls them down too. Those of us who remember would recall how Mayawati had decided to ignore the media and had come to power with a thumping majority in Uttar Pradesh. Narendra Modi came to power in spite of ignoring the media and a large section of it opposing him.

For the Politicians or even Journalists to think that they control the political narrative is laughable.

However, both with their huge public reach can certainly create long term damage through hate narratives and fake news. Therefore what is important is to call out the hate narratives and fake news irrespective of its source.

In the case of Nuh violence in Haryana, YouTube hate posts had created the mayhem. In many other cases the source was WhatsApp, so singling out a few journalists from national media does not make sense. Boycotting channels would not suit their political interests so they have simply chosen the softer target. This would neither solve the problem nor help their political interests so the decision to block a few journalists is puzzling.

Strict legal action needs to be initiated against the SOURCE of hate narratives and fake news.

Instead of attacking the Journalists, the media owners, politicians and individuals who are the main source of this evil should be charged under the laws of the land. Politicans indulging in selective targeting of journalists would do more harm than good to a vibrant democracy like India where plurality and dissent form the essential pillars of a strong nation.

Politicians need to be reminded of what Kabir had said long time back:

निंदक नियरे राखिए, ऑंगन कुटी छवाय, बिन पानी, साबुन बिना, निर्मल करे सुभाय।

(Google Translation: ‘Keep your critiques close to you, let their hut be in your courtyard, that way you don’t need soap and water to cleanse your nature”)

Hope they get the message…….

Links for those who wish to know more:

  1. INDIA bloc to boycott shows of 14 TV journalists, media panel condemns move
  2. Express View on INDIA’s media boycott: Withdraw the list
  3. Opposition can choose to boycott TV anchors but a list paints a target on journalists’ backs
  4. NBDA Expresses Concerns After India Alliance Releases List Boycotting Anchors | Journalist Ban
  5. ‘Being targeted, not boycotted’ — what 14 blacklisted anchors have to say about I.N.D.I.A’s ban on them