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Media trial influencing court judgments

Mainstream behaving as if there is no judicial system left in the country, top journalists observe at a seminar in Malegaon

Saturday April 20, 2013 07:52:14 PM, Staff Reporter

Chairman of Maharashtra State Urdu Academy Khusrheed Siddiqui addressing the seminar on Media and Muslim issues in Malegaon


Malegaon: Stamping his valedictory seal on the claims by the journalists associated with top Urdu language national dailies that the mainstream media is bias and behaving as if there is no any need for the judicial system, Chairman of Maharashtra State Urdu Academy Khusrheed Siddiqui on Saturday warned that the trend is dangerous not for the Muslims alone but for the entire country.

“The very purpose why we are here is to make the government realise that the way Muslims are being neglected, and portrayed in negative and insulting manner in the media is harmful not only for the community but for the country”, Khursheed Siddiqui said in his presidential address.

Siddiqui was referring to the observations made by the journalists in a seminar on Media and Muslim issues held at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Hall in Malegaon.


Speaking during the seminar the journalists speaking at length pointed at the danger of the Media trial and the biased reporting especially after the bomb blasts and terror attacks.


Stating that the mainstream media with few exceptions is behaving as if there is no judicial system left in the country, Shakeel Rasheed, Feature Editor Urdu Times (Mumbai), said, "Its direct impact is that lawyers are refusing to defend the Muslim youths framed in terror related cases. Even court judgments appear influenced by the Media trials."


Blaming the media of bias and prejudice against the Muslims, Saeed Hameed, noted journalists and the Editor of Rashtriya Sahara till recently, said that the media is hiding the truth and spreading rumors.


"Instead of reporting truth, the media is spreading rumors. But, it does not realise that the people have become more aware. They have the Internet and access to information from many sources, and are able to distinguish between facts and propaganda", he said.


Criticizing some of the media persons who are virtually working as stenos for the police and investigating agencies, Khaleel Zahid, Editor Akhbar-e-Alam alleged that Indian Mujahideen does not exist.


"You blame Indian Mujahideen for blasts. I challenge you to prove the existence of any such organisation. For how long you will use the inputs from intelligence agencies to increase your TRP?", he said.


Pointing that the media has become commercial and is working like a corporate house, Meena Menon, Mumbai Bureau Chief The Hindu, urged it to re-design its strategy.


"Unfortunately, the trend instead of diminishing is becoming more and more profound day by day. It should be stopped immediately. Its the duty of every Indian, not the Muslims alone", she said.     


The worst onslaught on the mainstream media was however by the local MLA, Mufti Mohammad Ismael. He said that the mainstream Indian media has been infiltrated by the RSS men and they are working on a well-planned strategy to malign the Muslims.


"About 90% of the media houses are infiltrated by the RSS men and people having a communal mindset. They are deliberately portraying the Muslims in negative manner and broadcasting publishing reports that help stereotype the community", he alleged.


Editor of Aleem Faizee, however, asserted that the Muslim community instead of complaining about the media bias and depending on others should have an independent media of their own to counter the prejudice and stereotypes.


"There is media bias but its a global phenomenon, and limited not just to Muslims. There has also been suggestions to have an independent media to counter them. But, no concerted effort has been made anywhere in the Muslim world including India to have a powerful media of international standard", he said.


Echoing similar feelings, Sharique Naqshabandi, Editor Asia Times Aurangabad, urged the community to strengthen the existing organs of the community. "If we cannot do anything, we should at least strengthen the existing newspapers and the media platforms owned by the community. Once they become powerful, they can work on other means to fight bias and prejudice", he said.


Commenting on the claims and observations made by the Urdu journalists, Anurag Tirpathi, Sr Journalist Navbharat Times, urged the Muslims to realise the power they have in their hands and teach the biased media a lesson.


"Its true that the media is behaving in such a way. But, why don't we ignore them? After all, they survive because of the viewers and readers. It is we who are giving them importance and also buying such newspapers. They will be finished, the day our drawing rooms are cleaned from them", he said stating that 70% readers of the Hindi Saamna are Muslims.






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