The degree to which supposedly neutral international portals slant their coverage to fit their ideological narratives is truly breathtaking.
Bloomberg today ran an article on UP’s new love jihad law, but its title would left its audience — which is largely international — with a complete mischaracterization of what the law is about. On Facebook, Bloomberg’s headline read: “India’s most populous state brings law to fight interfaith marriages.” The caption read: “Muslim-Hindu marriages could be punishable by up to 10 years in jail.”
If someone were to only read the headline and not click on the article – which is the vast majority of people on social media — they’d be left with the impression that UP was, without provocation, clamping down on all interfaith marriages. This, of course, is completely untrue: the law is to check unlawful conversions through force and deceit, and not stop interfaith marriages. This is made apparent in the name of the law, which is called “Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversions”.
But Bloomberg appears to have liberally parted with the truth to make its Facebook headline more sensationalist and clickbaity. The actual article, though, has a slightly more accurate headline which read “India’s Most Populous State Brings Law to Fight ‘Love Jihad’”. But the rest of the article plays up the usual far-left narrative: the writer links the Love Jihad law with issues as disparate as the CAA, NRC, and even the Babri Masjid judgement, and paints a picture of India that’s intolerant towards minorities.
Not once, however, does the article speak of the hundreds of love jihad cases which have come to the fore all across India, in which Muslim men have pretended to be Hindu, married Hindu women, and then later forced them to convert. The article has no mention of the Hindu women who’ve been killed for resisting the conversion attempts, and makes no mention of women who’ve approached the police after being trapped in such marriages.
The author also plays up the anti-Hindutva narrative in the article, but fails to mention how it’s not only Hindus who’ve spoken up against love jihad. The Kerala catholic church has previously openly mentioned Love Jihad, calling it a “reality”, and said that Christian women were being lured into the trap of Islamic State. And to top it all, communists — who’re as separated from CM Yogi’s Hindutva as can be — have also spoken up about love jihad. In 2010, Kerala’s communist Chief Minister V S Achutanandan had charged that the Popular Front of India (PFI) had plans to Islamize Kerala in 20 years using “money and marriages”.
But Bloomberg ignores all these facts in its article, and instead interviews a lawyer and a “human rights advocate”, who both dutifully give quotes on how the law clamps down on freedom, and infantilizes women. Neither speaks about the hundreds of women whose lives will likely be saved with the new law.
This, of course, is par for the course for global media outlets, but Bloomberg is a finance-focused portal that chiefly coverages businesses and markets. But such is the leftist stranglehold over media that they can, with impunity, run completely fake headlines and biased articles about social issues in far-away India. It’s not surprising that trust in big media is at an all time low: if companies like Bloomberg can carry such misleading articles about issues Indians actually understand, who’s to say that the rest of their coverage of world events is any more accurate?