Freedom of journalists in India

Written by The Frontier Post

Sehrish Khan

Every Indian sitting in the UN speaks with reference to Kashmir and Pakistan, but Sneha Dubey, who serves as India’s first secretary at the UN, has leveled allegations against Pakistan that India is one of the most infamous countries regarding minorities in India, including Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, Parsis and Jains, are deprived of basic rights. Perhaps the condition of animals in India is better than that of minorities.
Last year, there were a spate of atrocities against minorities in India. About 80% of India’s population is Hindu. Muslims are India’s largest minority with 14.2% of the total population, 2.3% Christian, 1.7% Sikh, 0.7% Buddhist, 0.4% Jain and 0.07% Jewish. According to an estimate, the number of Muslims in India is more than 250 million but they are treated second class in every field and at every level.
Just look at the case of the arrest of the son of Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan. The same people who never got tired of discussing Shah Rukh’s films are now attacking him from every angle. The impression is growing that Aryan Khan has been snared by a mafia known for its anti-Muslim riots and extremism in India. The standard of Indian media is that the reporters started grabbing the actor on the gray shopping bag in front of Shah Rukh’s house “Mannat” saying that he is such a big “Muslim” actor but could not remove garbage from outside of his house.
The biased journalism of Indian media is at its peak when it comes to Pakistan, a Muslim or Kashmir. Now read the words of the Indian Secretary and consider how arrogantly allegations are being leveled against Pakis-tan for the crimes for which India is notorious all over the world and obviously their aim is merely to divert international attention from India’s inhumane activities in Kashmir. “Minorities in Pakistan live in a climate of fear and their rights are suppressed under state patronage,” says Dubey.
Whether it is damaging mosques or blaming Muslims for eating beef, Indian police and Indian media have always been seen as backing and protecting the attackers in such incidents. Who doesn’t remember Muhammad Akhlaq, 50, who was beaten to death on the outskirts of New Delhi. According to the police statement, about one hundred angry Hindus kicked Akhlaq out of his house and beat him so badly that he died. However, the police did not say why she kept looking at all of them, why she did not try to save morals and what was the punishment given to these 100 killer fanatics.
Not a few, but dozens, hundreds of such incidents have taken place on Indian soil, but no Indian secretary at the United Nations sees it, not even the United States and other human rights groups that have burned thousands of Gujarati Muslims alive. They are eyeing the Indian Prime Minister who was once barred from entering the United States. Can’t such reports of incidents involving Indian minorities reach the White House or the Pentagon? Values become deaf and blind because they do not even care about the protection of human rights, for the protection of which the United States has set up dozens of institutions and funds.
However, the issue of biased reporting does not show the intention and the one-sidedness of journalists but the whole scenario is something else. As Indian media is highly controlled by BJP govt ad Indian police that journalists are not allowed to report any news which is ant-Modi and anti-RSS ideology. Here are few complaints of Indian journalists; Mr Chandrabhushan Tiwari is a journalist and human rights defender working of the daily Hindi newspaper Gyan Shikha Times, in the Kaimur district of the State of Bihar. He reports on a broad spectrum of issues for the paper, including alleged human rights violations. Mr Aakash Hassan is an independent journalist and human rights defender in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir.
In recent years, he has covered the increasing military presence in Kash-mir and the military’s alleg-ed surveillance of citizens in IIoJK. The UN Special Rapporteurs said, “Hassan reportedly shared details of the attack and images of his injures on social media”.
OHCHR’s (office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) Complaints procedure Branch also expressed utmost concern that both Tiwari and Aakash Hassan appear to have been beaten by police officers allegedly merely for carrying out their journalistic profession, or being identified as members of the press. Mr Qazi Shibli is journalist and editor of the new website ‘The Kashmi-riyat’ in Anantang city in c-entral Jammu and Kashmir. OHCHR’s Complaints procedure Branch also expressed deep concern regarding the alleged raids on the home of Qazi Shibli and his family members.
OHCHR’s complaints procedure Branch expressed their concern on unnecessary and excessive use of force employed by police against journalist (mentioned in above paras) and human rights defenders travelling on public roads, and raid by police of the homes of a journalists and their families. The issue was shared by OHCHR’s Complaints procedure Branch with Indian MEA on 1 October 2021 for their official reply on the case, however, India failed to reply even after the lapse of 60 days.

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