How a scuffle during cricket match turned into “Muslim youth beaten over Bharat Mata ki Jai” by MSM
Today on the morning of 30th March, the news day broke with a story of assault on three muslim youth for not chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. All major news houses reported this “atrocity” on minorities in Modi’s India, an outcome of “Growing intolerance in Modi’s India” and an ominous sign of “Creeping Hindutva”. How this inspiring slogan which equates an Indian’s love for her/his motherland with the love for our mothers came to be identified with Hinduism and became profane for Muslims, is a sinister plot we’ll indulge in later. On to the story for now.
Many, including all major news agencies tell us that three Muslim youth Dilkash, Mohammad Ajmal and Naeem were beaten by unidentified men in the Begampur area of New Delhi while they were taking a stroll and were told to chant “Jai Mata ki” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
After reading this news it appears that these were innocent unassuming boys who were targeted by a patently Hindu mob out for religious violence (pressure for “Jai Mata Ki” a religious slogan used by Hindus) and their only crime was that they were Muslims. To cement this notion newsmen give graphic details of how their scull-caps were removed and trampled under the feet.
News agencies have taken every possible measure and used all creativity to attach religious symbolisms with the incident. There are also concerted efforts at projecting a serious sense of victim-hood in Muslims. We see for example, Hindustan Times above, specifying “Madrasa Students” and using a representative image of adolescent young Muslim kids. It is not as if the young boys were pulled out of a madrasa and beaten. Their own version says they were taking a stroll near a park.
Renowned media dignitaries were not far behind in grabbing the opportunity to register their outrage and highlight alleged atrocities on a chosen community.
No outrage? No one calling me up? No abuse? No empathy? https://t.co/qq6MrdJdkZ
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 30, 2016
Politics over it started as well, using this issue AAP attacked PM Modi.
Condemn it.Modi ji देख रहे हैं आप ? 3
Madrassa Students Beaten Up Allegedly For Refusing to Chant Slogans. https://t.co/ob0i8GeCBy
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) March 30, 2016
These are the same news agencies who use phrases like “tension between two communities”, or “members of a community pelted stones at a religious procession” when a Hanuman Jayanti procession is stoned. They argue that specifying details of the community will fan communal passions. We wonder why the same wisdom is not put to use here.
However, this story has taken a predictable turn with the young men now denying before police that there was any pressure to chant “Jai Mata Ki” or “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. A story in NewsX says that there was a fight during a cricket match between two groups and one set of young boys beat the other. On being beaten up the three boys Dilkash, Ajmal and Naeem made up this story.
But the damage has been done. A narrative is out in the outrage and victim-hood markets and this story is going to be circulated in propaganda by various vested interest groups. Community leaders are already outraged and are registering protests.
More serious questions present themselves. If the young boys did make up this story, what were they trying to hide? Had they done something wrong themselves? There are claims on Social media, of eve teasing, misbehaving with senior citizens against them but there are just claims and not verified yet. But their changing stands and concocting stories sure makes them suspect.
The other perplexing question is, how did boys as young as they are, think of using “Bharat Mata ki Jai” to play victim and get their attackers in more serious trouble than they already are? Our eyes turn to media which has been running a campaign against “Bharat Mata ki Jai” for weeks now. There have been concerted attempts to associate this slogan with Hinduism, as something offensive to Muslims. After the anti-national sloganeering in JNU there has been a campaign to portray that people are unfairly being targeted in this country for merely raising slogans! The fallout of this sick campaign is that even young Muslim boys know how to invoke “Bharat Mata ki Jai” for playing the communal victim card, grossly unaware of how serious the repercussions of such lies can be.
If the media does not introspect, the government of the day should act against such malice.