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فرقان furquan @furquansid
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Post-2014 elections, India hasn’t stopped debating the surge in nationalism, religious hatred and widespread intolerance. In this @risj_oxford paper, I explore how journalists in India were targeted in this age of intolerance and rising nationalism (Thread)
Journalists are killed and threatened in India despite being perceived as a "country at peace". Threats increase during severe personal integrity rights violation by the state or when the quality of governance goes down, wrote Victor Asal et al
"Nothing protects a journalist so much as public outrage and public support," Woodhull and Snyder wrote. What happens if the public outrage is against journalists themselves? The incident at the Patiala High Court in the heart of New Delhi was unprecedented
On Feb 16, 2016, reporters (and even professors) were assaulted by a mob of lawyers in the court premises for doing their job, which was to cover the case proceedings of what was called an "anti-national" protest
“Pakistan Zindabad, haan?" I can't tell what got me scared more, his bigotry or ignorance… I wanted to tell him that I am not one of those who shouted the stupid slogans in JNU; am a journalist here to cover the proceedings.” wrote @DeshmaneAkshay
News media, since 2014, had either already picked sides or it was chosen for them. "There is a rhetorical difference in the relationship between the State and the news media before the 2014 elections and afterward," Mukul Kesavan had written in a piece
@waglenikhil and @paranjoygt spoke about political-corporate nexus to force out journalists and editors. "In the run up to the 2014 elections, the corporate sector unanimously rooted for Narendra Modi. They made no bones about it," said Thakurta. ABP is a recent example
Trust in media in India (76%), however, didn't fall as much as in the western world. Perhaps, everyone found a news media catering to their biases. Trust in govt is much higher though; 86% says @pewresearch. Criticizing media is easier than the govt
Slander and name-calling turned out to be easier than criticizing. Journalists continue to be labelled as anti-national or anti-Hindu. #Gaurilankesh was labelled as such and so have several journalists working at different levels
Vigilante groups have taken over the country, both in the real world and the virtual world. @dhume had written "that the BJP "appears to at least tacitly encourage social-media lynch mobs that go after any journalist seen to be stepping out of line"
Fake news and false quotes are shared attributing popular journalists. When it comes to women journalists, the abuse and slander becomes even more personally targeted
It comes from a clear, deeply misogynistic point of view. Every time a woman journalist is trolled there are rape threats, abuses hurled are with sexual connotations. At times you get stalked online as well — @nehadixit123
Politicians and the state machinery hasn't been very welcoming of critical stories either. In Nov 2016, Kiren Rijiju had said nobody should question the government. Questions from a 'patriotic class of media' were preferred instead
The paper also looks at different threats faced by journalists in different parts of the country. This research wouldn't have been possible without journalists working in India’s mofussil towns who shared their experiences
Thank you @TR_Foundation for the sponsorship and @sambrook for the guidance and supervision. Also, @utterflea for recommending this fellowship.
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