The western media has always looked at Bharat with jaundiced eyes and its prejudice has been crystal clear in its reports, news coverage, and even opinion pieces on Bharat. This kind of bias mainly stems from the racist attitude of the western media.
On March 28, New York Times (NYT) carried an exaggerated report about ‘Bharat Bandh’ claiming the ‘bandh’ had thrown the country into confusion. It said that the two-day nationwide strike involved both private and public sector workers who were protesting the governmen’t economic policies including privatization. It also stated that transport and other services were disrupted on account of the strike.
“Ten central trade unions have given a two-day nationwide bandh call and were supposedly joined by other independent federations and associations…Except for Kerala, the strike had very little impact on lives of people otherwise. It was business as usual. But then, NYTimes seems to be living in a parallel universe”, noted OpIndia.
Bharatiyas are well aware of the dynamics of a bandh call. Such calls hardly impact the normal routine of public at large unless there are instances of violence including rail rokos. However, March 28 was as normal a day as any as people went about their business as usual and many came to know about the bandh from NYT‘s report that hyped the entire news to imply that Bharat had come to a standstill.
Even if many found this news report amusing, the underlying attempt to paint the country with its racist colours can hardly be missed. NYT has been among the many western portals that used the pandemic to misrepresent Bharat’s handling of the situation using false data. The agenda-driven Hindumisic journalism of the portal has also been highlighted.
While NYT was drumming up hysteria about the bandh, TIME Magazine took great pains to pen an article to deny the Kashmiri Hindu genocide which has returned to mainstream discussion thanks to The Kashmir Files movie. It doesn’t forget to quote ‘Kashmiri Pandit organizations’ in its attempt to discredit the film and deny the genocide. Nothing better could be expected of TIME that labelled Modi “India’s divider in chief”.
In his interview with Madhu Kishwar, Vivek Agnihotri highlighted how the entire system had collapsed thereby leading to a situation where there weren’t police and other administrative officers to ensure a proper record. However, it isn’t the numbers but the gory manner in which a community was exterminated and forced to flee that should be the main cause of concern. To deny a genocide because the ‘numbers are low’ is a classic method to whitewash Islamist crimes.
In addition to racism click bait journalism is also a reason for such biased reporting tarnishing Bharat and Hindus. Declining demand for print compounded with stiff competition and limited space to grow in their own countries, these Western media houses have found Bharat as a lucrative market with third largest English speaking population. Icing on the cake for them is Bharat’s vast and varied demography which makes it a complex society with many potential fault lines which can be exploited.
Case studies in the ‘Analysis of Global Media Coverage of Events in India’ report written by Journalist & Media Analyst Amol Parth and published by Indian Institute for Mass Communication indicate pattern of hit & run stories to catch eyeballs which means that most of their stories have exaggerated headlines with minimal substance in the story to support the doomsday prophecies in their headlines. Case studies in the report also expose the editorial prejudices of these media houses against Bharat.
The report further investigated Western media’s local network in Bharat and found that just one or two correspondents for covering a vast and diverse country like Bharat also contributes to the lack of nuances, poor understanding of complexities and limited fact-checks in their reportage. It is hardly surprising that these outlets fall well short of putting out facts.
Racism, business interest driven coverage, Hindumisia, and a complete lack of both understanding of and empathy towards Bharat is bound to give rise to hysteria, denials, and fake news passed off as journalism.