India’s left-leaning publications, which harp on about the freedom of expression ad nauseum, seem to be curiously silent over a blatant incident of creative freedom being trampled upon by state-sponsored violence.
Yesterday, Congress goons had vandalized the office of Storia Foods and Beverages over an ad which had supposedly made fun of Rahul Gandhi. Congress workers had not only upturned furniture and broken glass at the office, but had also publicly celebrated the destruction on social media. Immediately after the attack, Storia took down the offending ad from its YouTube page.
This should’ve been the perfect story for left-leaning outlets — a government in power made a company take down a perfectly legal advertisement using street violence — but these publications chose to ignore the incident entirely.
NDTV, which is a national outlet and carries all manner of news, chose not to carry the news about Congress goons vandalizing a private office in Mumbai. It also said nothing about how Storia was forced to take down its ad.
The Wire, which often writes about how freedom of expression is being suppressed in India, carried no article on how the ad had to be taken down, or the vandalization of the company’s office.
Similarly, The Quint and Scroll, both of which usually devote reams to the supposed trampling of freedom of speech in India, didn’t deem the incident fit to find even a passing mention in their publications.
All these publications, on the other hand, have played up fake incidents which fit their narrative. NDTV and Scroll, for instance, had reported on the supposed attack on a Tanishq store in Gujarat after the brand had published an ad promoting love jihad. The news had been debunked later as being completely fake, but both outlets had merely edited the articles they’d written and published.
However, when there is a real example of violence with video evidence staring them in the face — and prominent Congress leaders celebrating the attack on social media — these outlets have chosen to ignore the issue entirely. Which goes on to show that these outlets don’t actually care about freedom of speech — they merely use it as a convenient cudgel to meet their political and ideological ends.