Anti-Muslim Violence in Delhi: When Indian mainstream media choose to misreport, international media stood with facts

Mohammed Shariff

The Delhi was burning when Prime Minister was attending “Namaste Trump” event at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujrat also toured famous Taj Mahal in Agra, UP. As of now, 22 people have been killed by rioters and over 200 have been injured. According to reports hundreds of shops and houses have been destroyed by the pro CAA protesters. Police stood as mute spectators- as usual, mainstream media choose not to show this and went behind PM’s and President Trump’s tour.

However, foreign media stood by its stand and reported from the ground. They reported on the violence unleashed by the state and right-wing activists on Anti CAA protesters and minorities.

The New York Times reported its first article, by Jeffrey Gettleman, was titled ‘New Delhi streets turn into a battleground for Hindus and Muslims’.

“In other parts of New Delhi, Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried on with sightseeing and meetings, seemingly unaffected as the tension and protests that have roiled the capital over Mr. Modi’s Hindu-first policies exploded into rioting and gang fighting.”

BBC world reported that “Delhi remains on edge after the third consecutive night of rioting, with reports of Muslim homes and shops being targeted by violent mobs.”

It further said that twenty-one people have been killed so far in the deadliest violence the Indian capital has seen in decades. The clashes first broke out on Sunday between protesters for and against a controversial citizenship law. But they have since taken on communal overtones, with reports of people being attacked based on their religion.

Adam Withnall wrote in the UK based Independent that ‘This is state-sponsored terrorism’: Deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims overshadow Trump’s India trip.

He further said in his article that the deaths of at least 20 people in the worst Hindu-Muslim violence to hit Delhi in decades overshadowed the second and final day of Donald Trump’s state visit to India on Tuesday. As Trump returned to the US without a significant breakthrough to ease tariffs on trade, horrific scenes shared across TV and social media showed crowds pelting each other with stones, Muslims being dragged through the streets by mobs shouting Hindu slogans and a mosque set on fire in the northeast of the city.

Al-Jazeera too reported Delhi violence extensively and it said that 21 dead in Delhi’s worst religious violence in decades. Mosque in Indian capital set ablaze as police accused of helping Hindu mob target Muslims and their properties.

Many other online web portals have covered Delhi Anti-Muslim violence extensively which was absent in Indian mainstream media, barring few till today. Indian media is facing a crisis of credibility since 2014. Precisely after the formation of the NDA government headed by Saffron party BJP. Journalism in India is facing a crisis. The mainstream media is increasingly vested in the hands of a select few and refuses to question authority.

Mohammed Shariff is a senior journalist who has earlier worked with Indian Express, Times of India, and Madhyamam.

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