The people of India are finally speaking up, and mainstream media outlets are being forced to dial back on their propaganda.
Times of India has updated the headline of its article in which it had called a man named Nasir a ‘tantrik’. Yesterday, TOI had published an article with the headline ‘Lucknow: Tantrik arrested for sexual assault after video goes viral.’ But when users clicked on the article, they discovered that the ‘tantrik’ was named Nasir. The word tantrik is used for practitioners of Hindu and Buddhist faiths, and people had said that Times of India was blaming the crime on a Hindu godman, while protecting the Muslim identity of the actual accused.
After a spate of online outrage, Times of India has quietly updated the headline of its article. “Lucknow: Man arrested for sexual assault after video goes viral,’ the headline now reads, with TOI having replaced the word ‘tantric’ with ‘man’.
It’s a small victory for those who’d raised their voices against what was a clear case of Times of India propagating Hindu hatred, but Times of India’s edit reveals the extent to which mainstream media continues to shield people if they belong to a certain faith. Had Times of India wanted to only correct their mistake, they could’ve replaced ‘Tantrik’ with ‘Maulana’ or ‘Pir’ to accurately capture the accused’s identity, but chose to go with the non-specific ‘man’. It’s a strange kind of secularism that Indian media seems to practice, but at least their overt attempts to promote Hindu hatred are, thanks to alert social media users, now being called out and rectified.