Monday 21st Jan 2019
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Double Standard of Media

Editorial

With the grant of bail by the Allahabad High Court on 17 July to 70-year-old Ali Mohammed of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, the nationwide furore created by the media, especially TV channels, over the incident of rape of one Imrana by her own father-in-law about eight years ago, has come to the fore. The newspapers had reported the incident widely and a section of TV channels held a media trial of the Muslim society. The incident undoubtedly was a heinous crime, quite unexpected from a believer in the Day of Judgement. But a large section of media presented it in a way giving the impression that such a crime is the way of the Muslim society while the fact remains that it was just a crime that can take place in any society, thanks to the brazen publication of obscene and titillating scenes in print and electronic media including the internet in the name of freedom of expression as well as the society’s big no to moral education.

On 19 May 2013 an English daily reported the alleged rape of a 24-year-old woman by her father-in-law. In this report, the name of the victim has been withheld while the names of her father-in-law Rohtash and other family members who were booked under Section 376, 506, 120 B of IPC have been given. In another case, a report published on 27 May 2013 said that a deaf and dumb inmate of Welfare Home in Hooghly district was allegedly repeatedly raped by her father-in-law Mahabir and his son-in-law Bhola Paul.

One more report published on 19 July 2013 said that one Mewalal Mishra allegedly raped his daughter-in-law after the death of his son five years ago. In yet another report published on 16 May 2013, a 64-year-old diamond merchant was arrested allegedly for raping his 30-year-old daughter-in-law on several occasions since 2008 when the victim’s husband went overseas for work.

A cursory glance on the media coverage of these crimes only in the recent months proves certain facts. It proves that if the case is related to the majority community, the media does not give it wide coverage; it is published on some inner page, and not dragged for days together, as was the case with the Imrana incident. It also proves that in most such cases related to the majority society, the names of victims are withheld. This compassion is in right earnest but the question is why the media digs up every minute detail of such a case related to the minority community. This is double standard of media which must be shunned sooner than later.



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