Media reports — especially when they tie in a little too conveniently with left-wing propaganda — can often hide as much as they reveal.
The Times of India yesterday reported how castist slurs and abuses were thrown at hockey player Vandana Katariya’s family after the team’s defeat against Argentina. “Hours after India went down to Argentina in the women’s hockey semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, two upper caste men began circling Vandana Katariya’s home at Roshnabad village in Haridwar. They burst crackers, danced in mock celebration and hurled caste abuses at her family, saying that the team had lost because it had “too many Dalit players,” Vandana’s family told TOI,” the report said.
The report, filed by reporter MS Nawaz, went on to claim it was a caste-based attack. “They used caste slurs, insulted our family and said the Indian team lost because too many Dalits (the men used a specific caste slur) have made it to the team. They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out,” the complaint filed by Shekhar said. “Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again … It was a caste-based attack,” the report said.
But while the report might’ve seemed meticulous with statements from the family and details of the FIR, it left out a crucial detail — the two families had a long-running feud. Hindupost called up the local SHO LS Butola, and he gave details about the feud. “He told us that the Katariyas have an old feud with a neighbor over some minor issue – something to do with a drain – and have clashed previously too. In 2018, the families had come to blows,” the report said.
“Yesterday’s match allegedly became a pretext for the other side to provoke the Katariya family by bursting crackers. This led to a heated exchange between the two parties,” the SHO added. When asked if caste-related flare ups have occurred in the locality earlier too, the SHO said no. He told HinduPost that while Vandana’s family is from an SC community, the accused are OBCs – one of them has the surname Pal.
A Dainik Jagran report also confimred the detail about the long-running dispute. The report gives the names of the two accused as Ankit Pal and Sumit Chauhan. It adds that after someone burst crackers outside Vandana’s house, there was a heated exchange between them and the neighboring family. Vandana’s sister-in-law has demanded strict action against the accused else the entire family would self-immolate, the Jagran report adds. The Jagran journalist Sunil Negi also spoke to SHO Butola, and duly reported that the two families have a long-running dispute.
As such, it’s surprising that Times of India journalist MS Nawaz chose to leave out this bit of information, and published a report which gave the impression that the family had had slurs thrown at them by unknown miscreants. But the two families involved in the incident had a long-running dispute, and it appears to have flared up yesterday. The allegations of caste-based are only made by one side, and are yet to be ascertained through an investigation. But Times of India appears to have deliberately — and maliciously — left out this information in attempt to further the far-left narrative of rampant caste-based clashes in India.