Modi, Media and Terror Threats
A release by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
The reporting in the media following the arrest of four youths in Rajasthan, alleged to be Indian Mujahideen operatives, by the Delhi Police Special Cell fell even below the low standards the media has set for itself on terror reporting. Forget about the use of the mandatory ‘alleged’ before calling those arrested as terrorists – one would think it is no longer even on the curricula of media ethics. A large section of the media seemed convinced that it was Modi who was the target of these alleged terrorists. Indeed, there seemed to be an almost pathological desire to link these arrests to Modi. It is another matter that these claims were based on nothing.
Here are some samples:
- “NishanepeModi?” asked a news channel. Yes, but of course, it answers.
- One newspaper wrote confidently that the terror module “had plans to carry out terror attacks during the election rally of BJP prime ministerial candidate NarendraModi”
- Another newspaper quoted ‘sources’ to likewise declare that “that the terrorists had BJP's PM nominee NarendraModi on their radar.” It got a little carried away and told us that the Delhi Police would “submit its report to MHA, requesting to beef up the security apparatus of Narendra Modi during campaigning”.
This must have been a secret that the Delhi police shared with this reporter alone, for in the press conference held by the Special CP and in their press release, the Delhi Police indicated that the investigation was at a preliminary stage and still “in progress”, and in fact made no reference to Modi or any such recommendation.
- Regardless of the fact that Modi was not as much as mentioned, the Modi angle was attributed to the Delhi police in a daily’s headline: “Indian Mujahideen terrorists could attack Modi: Delhi Police” The story inside however has no such quote from the Delhi Police.
- Similarly, a news portal reported, “The police claim that their main target was Modi who has several rallies lined up in Rajasthan” despite the fact thatpolice clearly had made no such claim.
But it gets even better.