Edited to add this link to a well-thought out and equally well-articulated piece on this issue of increasing intolerance by Vir Sanghvi.

Turnip: Welcome to the Crapola News Network. In our top, in our top, in our top story today, we bring you a frightening exposé of how the Islamic fanatic in India is discriminated against, even by us in the media. In a stunning revelation of deliberate marginalisation, we show you, ex-ex-ex-exclusively on this channel, how an Islamic fanatic has to work thrice – yes, you heard that right – thrice as hard to get the same media exposure as his privileged counterpart, the Hindu fanatic. Charkha.

Charkha: Yes, thank you Turnip. Police in Kolkata arrested editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha of the Statesman for reprinting an article by Johann Hari, “Why Should I Respect These Oppressive Religions?”, after Islamic fanatics rioted in protest. Surprisingly, this bit of news has not got any mention in any mainstream Indian newspaper, channel or website, even though it has to do with the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The leader of the rioters, Nunu Khan, is understandably upset at this discrimination.

“What does the Islamic fanatic in India have to do to get his voice heard?” he roared to his fellow rioters, his voice choking with anger. “Look at the fine work we have done in Kolkata. No coverage. Look at the negligible publicity we got when we attacked Taslima in Hyderabad and forced the Communist government to throw her out of Kolkata. We got almost no headlines when we drove Kashmiri Pandits out of their homeland. We protested against Shah Rukh’s song, and he got more footage than us! But look at the coverage these Hindu fanatics get. There is vandalism over some paintings, a film shoot is violently disrupted, and look at how much attention they get from the press. This Muthalik fellow and his Hindu goondas beat up innocent girls, and he gets the kind of publicity we can only dream of. Brothers, this is discrimination. We are treated like second-class citizens. Hey – don’t we beat up people, riot and destroy property? We have equal rights, and deserve our moments of fame too!” So you see, Turnip, there is enough evidence that the mainstream media are prejudiced against Islamic fanatics and do not give them their fair share of publicity and coverage. Everything seems to be about Hindu fanatics, and this politics of exclusion has given rise to a very dangerous situation, and deep-seated resentment among the Islamic fanatics. It is very goose-bumpy. Turnip.”

Turnip: “Yes, indeed. Thank you for exposing the vertical fault-fault-fault lines created by the media in this country. Charkha, I’m impressed with Nunu’s work – his rioting actually managed to get the editor and publisher arrested. More effective than sending legal notices to bloggers, eh? Ha ha. But this is a very sobering thought: can the fourth estate actually shirk the great responsibility it has in enabling secular Indian democracy to flourish? We should respect the rights of every hoodlum equally. All rioters and goons, irrespective of religion, should find equal coverage on our platforms. Give every fanatic his due. Unless that happens, Indian democracy cannot move ahead, and everything is infructuous. But don’t go away. When we come back, the pigeon tells us what it was like to go pub-hopping with Sonam, Deepika and Ranbir. Only on the Crapola News Network.”

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