Why is media hell bent on maligning Hinduism?

We are all familiar with mainstream media’s disdain for anything ‘Hindu’. If we hold political parties other than BJP guilty of playing the appeasement game, then we must not forget that they were certainly cheered on by the media. This is largely because Hindus never constituted a vote bank. Not only did the media act as cheerleaders of ‘pseudo-secularism’ but they also indulged in misrepresentation of Hinduism by either twisting the facts or quoting things out of context. Their anti-Hindu bias is clearly evident and they hardly try to hide it. Both international and national media share this dislike for Hinduism and they would go to any extent just to prove themselves right.

The best case in point is the ‘Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi’ issue. When the Babri Masjid, which stood at the spot where previously a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram stood, was demolished in 1992 media went berserk creating sensational headlines that labelled Hindus as militants. Several important facts were overlooked by journalists so as to make their report both sensational and appealing to international audiences. One of the most important facts that were glossed over was that the mosque was not in use for over 50 years and that there were evidences to suggest that the mosque was built over the ruins of a Hindu temple. Furthermore it had been in use as a Hindu temple since 1949.

India has been subject to waves of Muslim invasions stretching over a period of thousand years. During these invasions tens of thousands of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples were destroyed and mosques built over many of them. All of this factual information finds no place either in the History textbooks or media narrative. Hindu temples and holy cities have been a target of Islamic invaders. Temples have been destroyed at an unprecedented scale yet the media never calls it ‘an act of aggression’; let alone Muslims being labelled as ‘temple destroyers’. However, it took just a single incident to tag Hindus as ‘militants’ and ‘Mosque destroyers’ despite the fact that the disputed structure was neither a mosque nor a holy city of Muslims. The entire idea of not using the term ‘disputed structure’ was to create sensationalism and fuel Muslim sentiments which lead to the riots that followed and large scale temple destruction that took place in countries outside India as well.

We can get a clear idea of media’s anti-Hindu bias if we make a comparison of how it treats India as against Saudi Arabia and China. It is a well known fact that there is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. Islam is the official religion and foreigners are allowed to practice their religion only in private. State and police are subject to ‘Shariah’, traditional Islamic laws. Yet, media in general and western media in particular often refers to Saudi as ‘moderate’ Islamic country; knowing fully well that it even funds terror groups. China is a communist dictatorship country and it is no secret that the Chinese establishment has been guilty of human rights violation within its borders and territorial aggression as well as genocide in Tibet. Despite this, China enjoys the status of ‘most favoured nation’ with US.

Since, US controls the UN its press enjoys unprecedented powers. Saudi is favoured for its oil resources while China is looked at as a friendly country due to its size and power. In both these cases it is the economic benefit that seems to bring political power and favour. India, however, has not been traditionally considered economically beneficial. For the local media it is paying back its funders that make them so anti-Hindu. This is precisely why Hindus and Hinduism is often projected in the wrong light by twisting facts and presenting half-baked knowledge as the complete truth.

Latha Iyer