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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Beyond Editorials : Back writing with substance

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Indian media routinely churns out gems that lead one to think that journalism is the one profession where no skill other than literacy is needed.

Times of India on 26 Dec 2020 published a strange editorial on the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Aligarh Muslim University. This is a PM who has done more genuine efforts for every community than any past PM. The Muslims have benefited from virtually every govt program whether Jan Dhan, Swachh Bharat , Ayushman Bharat and many more. In addition the community has received an impetus to education by way of generous scholarships to girls and increased grants to universities. PM Modi did what no leader Muslim or otherwise did – amid enormous opposition he brought in a bill to abolish Triple Talaq . A sad and sordid reality that millions of Muslim women faced. Especially for Muslim women in the lower socio economic segment it was like a Damocles sword hanging on their head every single day. Coupled with a lack of education and means of income it left them very vulnerable to the whims and fancies of the husband and the gruesome practice of Nikah Halah. The role of the woman was largely that to produce babies. Never mind the fact that limited economic means meant that each successive child had limited access to hygiene, food and education.

PM Modi is working to address the present and the future of the Muslim women so that they can chart the course of their life. Yet, none of this is enough for the folks at TOI. They do not make the effort to hold up any examples of people who have done more for Muslim women. Perhaps because there are none?

Has anyone read editorials from TOI where they critique the so called leaders of Muslim community for not making efforts for reform within the community – especially for women? Rather most of those ‘leaders’ as also several Muslims in media (including women) did their best to oppose it.

Reform in a community can be enabled by a visionary leader like Modi. The leader cannot deliver it on a platter to a resistant community. It is equally incumbent upon the individual, family and community to be committed to progress and make the necessary changes.

It would help the community and country if vast sections of it’s mainstream and print media chose to participate in catalyzing positive change rather than run down efforts with fact free editorials.

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