Embedded Reporting: Fictitious Terror Hunt & Media Manipulation

Bachoo Mahe

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Bachoo Mahe is a writer from Kerala who focuses on the areas of human rights, democracy, and freedom of expression
He can be contacted at [email protected]

“Terrorism is bad enough, worse is the eerie suspicion that we may never know what really happened, that instead of addressing terrorism we are pursuing cosmetic security while the real culprits plot the next attack. The days of sceptical caution of not accepting a one-source story, are numbered. What started as lazy journalism, as reporters warmed to PR handouts, is now news etiquette.”

– observed Antara Dev Sen,The Week, in the wake of embedded reporting of Batla Encounter in 2008. (as quoted by S.K. Pande)

Even after 5 years, the etiquette remains unchanged; media pursue the same ways, even more rigorously, as we see in the aftermath of the latest Hyderabad blasts too. Investigation routine too seems the same. The authorities named the “group” soon after the blasts, and started hunting “those who were associated”. None is daring to ask even logical questions, except rarely like Justice Markandeya Katju did. He came heavily questioning the very existence of fictitious Indian Mujahideen thus revealing the “real terror” behind the terror blasts; he exposed the nexus between the mainstream media and the false propagandists.

Listen him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KADWa-_S9wc&feature=youtube

He was loud even before:

The mainstream media’s stand is disgusting. Even when a journalist had become prey in one of such fabricated cases (see the recent episode, Muthi-ur Rahman Siddiqi of Deccan Herald), they were busy celebrating the police version, labelling him the “mastermind” of plotting terrorism. After six months NIA acquitted him completing detailed investigation, admitting Intelligence agencies were erring. Even then, his colleagues did not bother to question the way he was targeted. How shameful!

After years or months in case of some unusually lucky victims like Muthi-ur Rahman, when they are found to be innocents, our mainstream media silently ignore it or passively mention the same. Result of such fabricated cases is, a community is terrorized and innocent youths are harassed while the real culprits walk freely. Many have serious doubts on the very motive of inspiring youths rising from a particular community are being targeted. Take the latest example of Aijaj Ahmed Mirza, who was working as a junior scientist with DRDO before his arrest. Even after putting him for 6 months in jail, investigating agencies couldn’t file a charge-sheet and says they need more time to investigate. But court granted him bail. What does it mean?! He was arrested and detained for 6 months on ‘mere suspicion’ and even after 6 months they couldn’t find any evidence against him but still they want to keep him in jail indefinitely Forget about his ruined career, tarnished reputation, chance of getting stoned being a terror module… who cares?!

witch huntIssue is with our public psyche too. When hear the very word blast or terrorism, they wholeheartedly accept the embedded versions of stories and the celebration of “masterminds”. The failure of the Nation in realizing the gravity of this situation could result in polarizing the people of this country and secularism will be the first victim of this.

Read a few samples of the media’s fictitious terror hunt here:

http://indiatogether.org/2013/feb/med-terrorism.htm

http://www.thehoot.org/web/Disgraceful-coverage/6628-1-1-1-true.html

Considering the blasts in which involvement of Hindutwa brigade was proven earlier, one keeps wondering why nobody examines even a remote chance of them to get associated. We must recall that in any of those cases, they were not suspected at all. Instead, the authorities arrested many youths, made them confess with enormous tortures, detained for many years, only to be acquitted later proving those cases were fabricated. It was last year only the court had ordered AP government to give compensation for some 61 youths for they were detained “in connection with Makkah Masjid blasts” falsely. Their lone “crime” was that they belonged to Muslim community. All these show the depth of influence wielded by the Hindutwa brigade among our law keeping forces.

I still doubt the aptness of using ‘Hindu religious Terrorism’ in place of ‘Hindutwa terrorism’ or ‘Sangh terrorism’. Besides giving an unnecessarily negative connotation to the Hindu religion, it downplays the well established fascist network and their tactics that has been in existence for almost a century. Despite having established the link of Hindutwa brigade with many blasts, the authorities have not been doing enough to curb them. The Hindutwa brigade is a powerful force that has ruled the country once and still continues to rule many states. They wield considerable clout over the intelligence and investigating agencies.

I am not denying the chance of Muslim names being involved in any of the terrorism activities. It could be termed more like a “rent a terror” concept until proved otherwise with a fair prob. As Aseemananda or Purohit like’s revelations establish, they are adopting the Nazi practices to manipulate and benefit from the terror activities. Even though the Home Minister and his Secretary had revealed the Hindutwa terror network once, they had to roll back due the huge pressure exerted by the Hindutwa brigade. Even if there’s a chance for the existence of some “Jihadi” groups and their planning of blasts, either funded by internal or external forces, “to destroy or terrorize infidel India”, that too should be investigated thoroughly by unbiased officers so that any such elements are brought to books without fail. But current ongoing futile exercises which terrorize innocent lives won’t serve any purpose.