‘Secular’ Narrative In Bharat’s English Language Media

The recent state elections in UP which appear to be throwing a decisive verdict in favor of BJP, have brought law and order in the state to the center-stage, especially after BJP leaders Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi publicly railed against deterioration of law and order in UP under Akhilesh Yadav’s administration. Only then the ELM (English Language media) picked it up.

People of UP have been suffering from increased crime, violence, extortion for 5 years, however this did not make it to the ELM as a big issue. It is surprising, considering the fact that UP is a huge state next to New Delhi, and politically important as it sends the most MPs to Parliament.  Or rather, the media wanted their viewers to have a fairy tale view of their favourite ‘secular’ poster child, Akhilesh Yadav. Meanwhile in UP, the Yadav leaders in power have become so brazen that they did not stop their extortion racket even before the 2017 elections. A native of UP tweeted:

Secular crime in UP

Extent of criminality in UP is so deep and vast that a  UP cabinet minister, Gayatri Prajapati,  is accused of rape of a minor and is charged with POCSO. He, a cabinet minister with security detail, is missing and the UP police is unable to track him. So UP police did what bullies know best, go after the victim and interviewed her again. The victim’s family is complaining of intimidation by the police and they claim that the victim has been questioned four times already.

If something of this magnitude happened in any BJP-ruled state, all the studios would have been outraging about women’s rights, child rights, crimes ad nauseum. Remember the hours spent by all major ELM channels outraging about Akhlaq, even though that crime also took place in the same SP-ruled UP? What we see here is silence. Silence is compliance and complicity of the media. All this silence enables the jungle raj of Akhilesh Yadav.

It is not just the case of UP, we can see similar non-reporting of news of violence and murders from Kerala.  Another ‘secular’ party CPI(M) is ruling Kerala. Under Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala has seen unprecedented political violence and political murders. Many BJP workers are hacked to death in Kannur, Kerala and you would not know any of this if you watch the regular news channels, because the rulers of Kerala are ‘seculars’.

In Bharat, ‘Secular’ has become a fig leaf to indulge in unrestrained corruption, criminality, extortion and worse. And the so called ‘Media watchdogs’ turn a blind eye to these ‘secular’ acts. It is no surprise that people are losing trust in the media.

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About the Author

Mallika Patlolla
MS in Computer Engg; Worked in several Silicon Valley companies in 1990s and 2000s. Avid reader and completed some Journalism courses from San Jose State Univ. Now a resident of Hyderabad, Telangana. I volunteer in local Poor Students Ashrama and for social causes like rain water harvesting, dry waste segregation and recycling.