Editorial analysis: Udaipur killing barbaric; Zubair’s ‘absurd’ arrest; Kurla building collapse worrying
In ‘Editorial analysis’, The Raisina Hills critically reviews comments of India’s top five English newspapers – The Indian Express (IE), The Economic Times (ET), The Hindu (TH), The Times of India (ToI) and Deccan Herald (DH).
Kanhaiya Lal was a humble tailor in Udaipur, and like millions of people he too expressed opinions on social media platforms. He was beheaded in broad daylight while his killers made the video post for streaming for his expression of support for the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
His killers Mohammad Riyaz Akhtari and Gaus Mohammad had streamed video that they would kill Kanhaiya Lal, who had sought the police protection. But the state failed him.
Four of our basket of five newspapers today have come out with lead Edits on Kanhaiya Lal’s killing at the hands of butcher.
Three of them – IE, DH and TH – have built a larger plot to call to turn off the tap of hate in the country. TH has claimed the incident “peak of a communal volcano that India has climbed to”.
IE has directed its ire at TV channels, arguing “it will be the work of politics to ensure that important distinctions aren’t blurred and crucial perspective is not lost in the climate in which prime-time TV seems to increasingly take its cue from the fringe and hardliners…”.
IE, DH and TH have sought to explain out the Udaipur killing in the context of deepening communal divide in the country.
Does the Udaipur killing merit to be explained out with communally divisive politics in India even if it’s a cause for concern?
Udaipur butchery is a plain act of terror, and the Rajsthan Police have revealed that one of the killers had been to Pakistan while having links with Dawat-e-Islami, which draws inspiration from ISIS.
Even the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi and Asaduddin Owaisi haven’t gone to such length while issuing their clear condemnations.
ToI has taken an uncoloured view on the incident, calling it an act of terrorism, arguing that the killing bore the signature style of the ISIS. The daily also takes to the task the role of the local police even while the state government has suspended a sub-inspector.
None of the four dailies have examined the rank failure of the Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot while failing to mention the rising incidents of stone-pelting and attack on the police as was seen in Jodhpur, Bhilwara and Karauli districts.
Gehlot’s trivializing of those incidents, calling them ‘chota-mota (small)’, may have made the state police lax in not scanning the sleeper cells of the terror outfits in the state. All the four dailies have missed out to raise the issue of the state police not coming high on their anti-terror operations.
Mohammed Zubair is co-founder of a fact-checking portal Alt News, and he has again be apprehended by the Delhi Police for a tweet that he had posted in 2018.
TH calls his arrest ‘theatre of the absurd’. DH calls it another instance of vindictiveness.
The twitter account that had called for action against Zubair now has disappeared also.
DH in its Edit claims that Zubair is facing the backlash of the establishment for “drawing attention to the comments of Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed, which had created international backlash and caused embarrassment to the government”.
TH has also argued on the same line, stating that Zubair is made to pay price for inviting international fury against Nupur Sharma’s remarks.
TH leaps from Zubair’s arrest to argue that it’s consistent with the “ongoing targeting of the minority activists, ranging from administrative excesses such as demolition of houses and imprisonment of activists…”.
ET has sharply commented on the collapse of a multi-storeyed building in Kurla East in Mumbai in which 19 people lost their lives. The Edit calls for reforms in regulations, arguing that the failure on the part of the owners for the upkeep of buildings could be attributable to their collapse.