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The saboteurs in the market of hate

Political parties and their leaders boycotting the media and journalists is not something new; boycotting the media outlets that publish or broadcast content against them is also not a good precedent. However, there is a difference and a uniqueness to the boycotting of a few TV news anchors announced by the INDIA alliance, which was formed ahead of the general elections next year, to fight against the communal and corrupt policies of the BJP government. The decision to boycott 14 news anchors is due to their “communal debates” that divide the nation and the deflection from “the issues of public interest”. The boycotted channels will be “observed over the next few months” and the ban will be withdrawn “if there is improvement”, said a statement by the media council of the Opposition. 'We are ready to deal with the mocking of our leaders, twisting of their speeches and spreading of fake news. We are just not becoming a party to sharing the hate agenda that they are spreading”, said AICC media and communications department chairman Pawan Khera in a video message.

Also Read:INDIA alliance to boycott news shows of 14 news anchors

If one sees the names in the list released by the Opposition alliance, anyone who thinks independently would understand that this decision to boycott the anchors should have been taken earlier. The apt name for these people - who are not only servile to the Sangh Parivar-controlled government in power, promoting their agenda of hate by spreading hatred among the people of the country, othering and demonising the Muslim community by branding them as terrorists- would be saboteurs in the market of hate, rather than news anchors. What else to call those news anchors, one of whom climbed atop a JCB all jubilant and beaming ear to ear as the bulldozer razed the houses of those belonging to the Muslim minority community on the orders of the Sangh Parivar, even as the law-and-order system and the judiciary remained mere spectators; and those who held primetime debates as if the Muslims were responsible for spreading the Covid virus? The unwavering support of these anchors, also known as the Godi media, and their noisy debates that divert the public attention, have to a great extent helped the Narendra Modi-led government that completed nine years in power, to arrogantly move ahead with anti-people and anti-nation policies and procedures.

Civil rights activists, from senior journalist Pamela Philipose to Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, said the decision to boycott the hatemongering anchors, was in the right direction. However, the decision didn’t go down well with the BJP and its supporters. While BJP national president J P Nadda criticised the decision likening it to “Nazi-style” targeting of opponents, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, who had refused to renew the licence for Media One TV channel for its approach that was deemed against their ideological stance, likened the decision of the INDIA alliance to “Emergency 2.0”. BJP leaders and ministers have been for years, boycotting prominent journalist Karan Thapar, for posing unsavoury questions to Modi regarding the Gujarat genocide. Those who eliminated Gauri Lankesh, who fearlessly questioned fascism; who constantly witchhunts Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair; who arrested journalists such as Siddique Kappan, and who recently registered an FIR against a fact-finding team that conducted an investigation into the clashes in Manipur, are now expressing concerns about the freedom of press. News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA) have criticised that the decision to boycott the news anchors was anti-democratic. If the association had earlier stated that spreading hatred disseminating rumours and promoting absurdity in the name of news is not only anti-democratic but also anti-human and had also warned that such ‘journalism’ would wreak havoc in the country, couldn't it have been possible to prevent several horrifying events? Let us hope that media houses and journalists will refrain from hate speech; the time is not far when people will realize the truth and raise questions against the hate mongers.

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TAGS:India NewsINDIA alliance
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