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"A warped Indian media?"

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
I think there is need to restore some semblance of balance in the
that has taken place till now about the atrocious incident in Orissa. A
French journalist in India has attempted to do just that. Here is what
says in an artcle in the Hindustan Times.

Ram Narayanan

February 1, 1999

A warped Indian media?
(Francois Gautier)

While there is no doubt that the ghastly murder of Graham Stewart
the Australian missionary, and his two innocent sons, should be
condemned and that the culprits should be severely punished, the massive

outcry it has evoked in the Indian Press raises several important
which can only be answered by a Westerner, as any Indian who would dare
utter the following statements would immediately be identified with the
Sangh parivar:

1) Is the life of a white man more important and dear to the Indian
than the lives of a hundred Indians? Or to put it differently: Is the
of a Christian more sacred than the lives of many Hindus? It would seem
Because we all remember not so long ago, whether in Punjab or in
how militants would stop buses and kill all the Hindus — men, women and
children. It even happened recently, when a few of the last courageous
Hindus to dare remain in Kashmir were savagely slaughtered in a village,
were the labourers in Himachal Pradesh. Yet, very few voices were raised
the Indian Press condemning it; at least there never was such an outrage
provoked by the murder of Staines. When Hindus are killed in pogroms in
Pakistan or Bangladesh, we never witness in the Indian media the like of
tear jerking, posthumous “interview” of Staines in Star News.

2) This massive outcry on the “atrocities against the minorities” raises

also doubts about the quality and integrity of Indian journalism. Take
instance the rape of the four nuns in Jhabua. Today the Indian Press
the foreign correspondents— witness Tony Clifton’s piece in the last
of Newsweek) are sitll reporting that it was a “religious” rape. Yet I
to Jhabua and met the four adorable nuns, who themselves admitted, along

with their bishop George Anatil, that it had nothing to do with
religion. It
was the doing of a gang of Bhil tribals, known to perpetrate this kind
hateful acts on their own women. Yet today, the Indian Press, the
hierarchy and the politicians continue to include the Jhabua rape in the

list of the atrocities against the Christians.

In Wyanad in northern Kerala, it was reported that a priest and four
were beaten up and a Bible was stolen by “fanatical” Hindus. An FIR was
lodged, the communists took out processions all over Kerala to protest
against the “atrocities” and the Press went gaga. Yet as an intrepid
reporter from the Calicut office of The Indian Express found out, nobody
beaten up and the Bible was safe. Too late: the damage was done and it
is being made use of by the enemies of India.

Finally, even if Dara Singh does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is
if the 100 others accused do. What is more probable is that like in
it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of
jealousies, of old village feuds and land disputes. It is also an
outcome of
what— it should be said — are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost
seventh Adventists missionaries, known for their muscular ways of

Why does the Indian Press always reflect a Westernised point of view?
does India’s intellectual “elite”, the majority of which happens to be
Hindu, always come down so hard on their own culture, their own
their own brothers and sisters? Is it because of an eternal feeling of
inferiority, which itself is a legacy of British colonisation? Is it
they consider Hindus to be inferior beings — remember the words of
Bucchanan, a chaplain attached to the East India Company: “...Neither
nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found in the
breast of
a Hindoo”! Is it because the Indian Press is still deeply influenced by
Marxist and communist thoughts like it is in Kerala, where the
have shamelessly and dangerously exploited the Christians issue for
own selfish purpose?

Whatever it is, the harm is done. Because, even though it is not the
which has been reported from Jhabua, from Wyanad or from the Keonjhar
district in Orissa, it has been passed off as the truth and it has been
believed to be so by the masses. And the result is that it has split
India a
little more along religious and castes lines.And finally, Christianity
always striven on martyrdom, on being persecuted. Before the murder of
Staines, the Christian story was slowly dying; the culprits of the
rape would have been condemned and the Wyanad fraud exposed. In one
the burning of Staines has insured that it does not die for a long time.
the joy of martyrdom for the cause he fought for 34 years his last
before dying?

(The author is the correspondent in South Asia for “Le Figaro”, France’s

largest circulation newspaper.)

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