Pro-RSS journal accuses media of ‘intolerance’

New Delhi: An article in RSS mouthpiece ‘Panchjanya’ has accused the media of bias and intolerance towards an alternative point of view on a “manufactured” debate over “shrinking” space for dissent.

The article charged the media with overplaying a series of recent incidents including return of awards by intellectuals and artistes and the Kerala House beef row, the article in pro-RSS publication.

It claimed that “anyone watching TV these days would think the country is in danger, societal tolerance is reducing, there’s a civil-war like situation, as if there’s bloodshed all around.”

The article said “this manufactured atmosphere created on the eve of Bihar polls would give anyone watching TV a sense of fear.”

“Kerala House witnessed a controversy over beef. Police went there and sorted it out. But how could the media sit silently? By the evening, every channel was debating how sinful the police had been in visiting Kerala House upon receipt of a complaint over beef sale. Kerala House is not an embassy of another country,” the article said.

It also attacked the role of the media for “overplaying” that veteran lyricist Gulzar returned his award over intolerance recently but “conveniently glossing over the fact that Gulzar had campaigned against Narendra Modi in Varanasi during 2014 Lok Sabha elections” and saying, “people have the right to know that their favourite lyricist has political affiliations.”

“While TV channels showed Gulzar returning the award, they didn’t say that Gulzar had canvassed against Narendra Modi in Varanasi in general elections. Isn’t Gulzar’s presence in Patna during Bihar polls strange? People have the right to know that their favourite lyricist has political affiliations,” according to the article.

Accusing the media of not showing pro-government versions in the debate on intolerance, the article in the publication asked why when channels showed scientist P M Bhargava’s anti- government statements and “blacked out” pro-government statements of another acclaimed scientist G Madhavan Nair.

“Extremely secular journalists continue to insult Hindu traditions and have through articles mocked the Hindu festival of Karvachauth as conservative,” the article says.

The article in the publication also questions the media over not being “anguished over the intolerance shown to poet Munawwar Rana who recently met PM Modi on his invitation”.

“Rana is being attacked because he met PM Modi but the progressive media is silent over intolerance being shown to him,” the ‘Panchjanya’ article says, adding that the media “conveniently went silent when it was revealed that filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee returned an award he never even received”.

“It was only when the producer of film ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’ revealed this truth that it became known that Dibakar Banerjee had not even received the award but the media went silent despite earlier overplaying it,” the article said, adding that the “social media is closer to the truth than the mainstream media”.

The publication especially praised the role of the social media in projecting how the recent “anti-India” remarks by credit rating agency Moody’s were “actually personal views of a junior analyst at the organization”.