This is Media Hooliganism

published on February 7, 2013

It was the media, not the RSS chief, that defamed women

By MuraliParappuram
Courtesy: Janmabhumi newspaper, Kerala
Translated into English by Pulincherry Sreevalsan

“Supreme Court blasts RSS chief”

“Supreme Court criticizes RSS chief for references to Hemant Karkare”

These were the headlines of two ‘flash’ news reports broadcast by some Indian TV channels on February 29, 2012.

Some TV channels even said that, disagreeing strongly with RSS  Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat, the Supreme Court had  commented that his references were “unnecessary”.

But all these reports were totally baseless lies.

What happened was this: The Additional Solicitor-General had said in court that a newspaper had published an interview with Bhagwat in which he had said that Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told Bhagwat that he was under strong pressure to include some organizations in terror-related cases.

To which the two-member Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justice H.L. Dutt and Justice Anil R. Dave, had replied: “This interview has not come to our notice.” The bench did not even utter the words ‘RSS’ or ‘Mohan Bhagwat’!

Following the Supreme Court’s intervention, the channels were compelled to withdraw their ‘news report’. But, though they had a moral duty to do so, no channel admitted that they had made a mistake.

“Facts are sacred but opinions can be independent”
is the recognized principle about news reporting. Though it was British media man C.P. Scott who said this, this principle has always been ignored by India’s English language media. Not only media people but also people with average intelligence know that facts must be respected while giving their independent opinions. But Indian media people mouthing Scott’s language think they are not bound by this principle.

When the media has to ‘create’ news about the RSS, they cross all limits of morality. The ‘reporting’ pointed out above is a good example of media hooliganism. Though it was a matter related to the highest court in the land, the media had no hesitation in spreading total lies. They did not bother to correct their mistakes even after the court’s observations.

Some media are still continuing their conspiratorial work against the RSS. This is proven by the latest canards spread by them about sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat. They not only twisted Bhagwat’s words, they tried to mislead readers and viewers by presenting as ‘news’ things which Bhagwat had not even thought of or imagined.

Replying to a question about rising crimes gainst women at a meeting in Silchar, Assam, the sarsanghachalak had said: “The increase in such crimes is extremely disturbing. This is happening in ‘India’. These things don’t happen where ‘India’ does not exist or where ‘Bharath’ alone exists. Such things happen in places whose connection with ‘Bharath’ has broken down.”

What the sarsanghachalak was saying was that crimes against women are rising in places where people had moved away from their Bharatheeya or Hindu cultural values after coming under the influence of western fashions.

Though the Constitution says “India that is Bharath”, social thinkers are well aware of the cultural gap between ‘India’ and ‘Bharath’. The geographical entity called ‘India’ is not the same as the cultural entity called ‘Bharath’.  The sarsanghachalak had merely repeated this well-known truth.

The sarsanghachalak did not utter a single sentence or word justifying crimes against women at the meeting in Silchar. Not only that, he severely criticized the view of woman being a thing for man’s pleasure.

“According to the Bharatiya view, woman is mother of the world. In North India, great leaders can be seen respectfully touching the feet of maidens. These leaders are not doing this because they are Hindutvawadis but because it is part of their culture,” said the sarsanghachalak, referring to the greatness of womanhood.

The sarsanghachalak was only pointing out that the negative influence of western culture is to a large extent to blame for the widespread sexual crimes against women these days.

“Human relationships have broken down in towns. Laws will be effective only if they have the support of culture. Woman is not an instrument of pleasure. She is a goddess.  She is the creator of Nature. She is our mother who teaches us everything. Until this view is accepted, it is difficult to prevent crimes against women.  New laws are not enough. Laws are needed but, along with laws, cultural consciousness is also necessary,” Bhagwat had said.

He also agreed with the opinion that the penalty for rape should be death.

Yet, the media did the great injustice of presenting a man with such noble views as anti-woman.

“RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat defames woman. Rape happens in India, not in Bharath” was how the prominent news agency PTI reported.

Newspapers and TV channels, who had been waiting for an opportunity to attack the RSS, took up this ‘news’ and indulged in misinformation.

Even in the PTI report under its irresponsible headline, the sarsanghachalak  says: “Crimes against women in Indian cities is a disgrace. This is a dangerous trend. But these crimes do not happen in Bharath or in the villages. You can go and see the rural and forested areas. Gang rape or sex crimes do not take place there. Where ‘Bharath’ becomes ‘India’ under the influence of western culture, there such incidents happen. Bharatheeya values and culture, which see woman as mother, must prevail at all levels of society.”

When the sarsanghachalak said majority of the crimes against women are committed in big cities, he did not mean that such crimes take place only in urban areas. It was the PTI reporter who gave it such an unwarranted interpretation.  So, it is outrageous of the media to allege that ‘RSS chief defames women.’

It is not the sarsanghachalak alone who had said that majority of the crimes against women take place in towns and cities. This is clear from reports on sex crimes. Delhi Police Commissioner  Neeraj Kumar has revealed that 661 rape cases were registered in the national capital in 2012.  It was 564 in 2011, a rise of 17 per cent in just one year. The number of registered rape cases in Delhi in 2010, 2009 and 2008 were 489, 489 and 466 respectively.  The figure of 661 rapes in Delhi in 2012 is for officially registered cases only. The true figure will be higher. These incidents have earned Delhi the dubious title of ‘rape capital’. So, those who really insulted women are the people who created a controversy over the sarsanghachalak’s view that most sex crimes happen in big cities.

Some media continued to repeat their mistake without giving any explanation even after it became clear that what they had published/broadcast was contrary to facts. For this, they used the sarsanghachalak’s speech at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

“RSS chief repeats: women must do housework only”, “Women must stay at home, says Mohan Bhagwat”, “VHP and BJP support RSS stand”, and  “RSS chief shocks everyone again” 
were some of the headlines some newspapers and TV channels used in their campaign against the RSS.

Some media consciously closed their eyes to Bhagwat’s statement that “husband-wife relationship is based on a contract in western countries. Some may call this their matrimonial custom but it is really a contract which says ‘you keep my house, you give me pleasure. I will provide you with food and other needs. I will give you security also.’ The wife lives according to the terms of the contract. The husband looks after her as per the terms of the contract so long as the wife does all these. He can abandon her if she breaks the contract. If the husband is unable to live up to the terms of the contract, the wife can abandon him and go in search of another man.”

The Sarsanghachalak said in Indore very clearly that we should not follow western customs known as the ‘social contract’.

It is this statement that the Indian media twisted as
“Mohan Bhagwat says women must stay at home”! What can you say about the doings of the Indian media except “media hooliganism”? 

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