Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photojournalist, was killed by the Taliban while he was covering the war that broke out after it launched attacks on the Afghan forces to regain control over Afghanistan. Many eminent personalities, including journalists, tweeted their condolences on the death of the Pulitzer prize winning journalist.
They showered a profusion of praise on the deceased journalist and shared some of the photographs shot by him, including the funeral Pires of the Hindus who lost their lives during the COVID second wave. They, however, refrained from blaming the Taliban, the notorious Islamic terrorist organization. None of the eminent people wrote even a single word of condemnation against the Taliban.
And, the most ‘eminent’ of the eminent journalists, Ravish Kumar of NDTV, blamed the death of Danish Siddiqui on the ‘bullet’ that was fired at him thus exonerating the Taliban. The behavior of the Indian journos reminded me the past behavior of many international media houses that tried to whitewash the atrocities perpetrated by the terror outfits.
It made me recollect a tweet posted by The New York Times newspaper on the 18th anniversary of the WTC attacks, saying, “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center.” The newspaper received an instantaneous backlash for not mentioning the terror outfit Al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the mayhem. The netizens were quick to point out the mischievous attempt made by the NYT to push the blame on the inanimate airplanes to exonerate the Islamic terrorists.
In another shocking instance, the Washington Post newspaper paid rich tributes to late Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the chief of the barbaric terror outfit, the ISIS, by describing him as an “austere religious scholar”.
Both the attempts are a clear example of how the main-stream media attempts to whitewash the atrocities perpetrated by the terror outfits either by shifting the blame onto inanimate objects or paying rich tributes to the leaders of the terror outfits.
Coming back to the Indian media, it does not even use the word ‘terrorists’ to refer to the monsters who terrorize people in the name of religion. They use words such as gunmen, rebels, fighters or activists to deflect attention from their atrocities. And, when a terrorist dies in the hands of the security forces, they try to obfuscate things by describing the dead terrorist as either a “maths teacher” or a “headmaster’s son”.
Barkha Dutt of Neira Radia fame, tried to whitewash the crimes of the terrorist, Burhan Wani, by describing him as a “headmaster’s son”. The Indian Express newspaper described another terrorist by name Riyaz Naikoo as a “beloved maths teacher”.
They followed the same technique even in case of Danish Siddiqui by remaining silent on the Taliban and even going to the extent of blaming the inanimate bullet. They made it sound as if Danish died of natural causes by not uttering even a single word against the barbaric terror organization, which is responsible for the photojournalist’s death.
It is to be noted that the Taliban imposes the draconian ‘Sharia’ on the people. They suppress women and minorities by not allowing any rights to them. Under their rule, females are not allowed to go to schools and colleges. They are not even allowed to venture out without a male companion. Such stone age barbarism must not be tolerated by the humanity, and the actions of the Taliban must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
By not naming and shaming the Taliban for killing Danish and not willing to employ the word ‘terrorists’ to refer to them, the media is enabling the monsters to grow stronger.