Earlier last month, Riyaz Naikoo, a dreaded terrorist associated with Hizb-Ul-Muzahidin, was killed by the security forces. He was responsible for spread of Jihadi ideology in South Kashmir as well as targeting policemen and their families.
Ajay Pandita and Riyaz Naikoo : media coverage
The coverage in our mainstream Indian media was bizzare. Many newspapers justified how an incident in his youth led him to become terrorist. It was told how Maths was his favourite subject and he was a teacher of Maths in his village.
Ajay Pandita was one of the few Hindu sarpanchs of Kashmir valley. He was brutally killed by terrorists at Lokbawan, Anantnag district in Kashmir last week. In stark contrast with terrorists, his death has been covered in a routine manner.
We do not know what his favourite subject was? We do not know why Ajay Pandita fought elections? What change did he want to bring? Was there a specific event that inspired him to take up politics ? We do not know why he lived in Kashmir when most from his community had left it decades ago?
Indeed, we do not even know how minority Hindus and Sikhs live in a Muslim majority Kashmir. No media stories are done on their lives and struggles. They are just not worth the attention.
Humanising the inhuman : past instances
This is not the first instance of humanizing the terrorists. It has been the pattern after killings of terrorists. While leftists in media humanize them, there is a whole industry in Kashmir that makes them as martyrs. Read this great article at News Intervention by clicking here.
This was seen in the case of Burhan Wani, who was billed as son of a poor Kashmiri headmaster by the same elements.
Indeed, the ideological fellow travelers of Indian leftist and Islamists have done this internationally. When the dreaded terrorist and leader of international terrorist organisation named “Islamic State” Baghdadi was killed, he was presented as an ‘austere religious scholar’ by Washington Post. Contrast this with coverage of Yogi Adityanath, elected CM of
UP, who was called ‘militant’, the same name used for terrorists in certain circles.
Stalin, the brutal Communist dictator, is said to have remarked “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” His Indian disciples have mastered the art of making the deaths of terrorists a tragedy. The real tragedy of half a million Kashmiri exiles has become a meaningless statistic.
It is clear that the situation needs to change. We need mediapersons with integrity : who can ask the right questions and bring the human stories of these victims of terrorism, not those of terrorists. We also need a supportive society and government, that can support and protect those who dare to ask the right questions.
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