Media blind to plight of Indians in Middle East


The story of a 25-year-old woman asked to vacate her flat in Mumbai because she is a Muslim has been widely reported. A few days earlier, newspapers and channels informed us about a 22-year-old MBA Muslim graduate denied a job because of his faith. It is indeed reprehensible to discriminate against anybody on grounds of their faith, so the media did its duty quite well. However, our newspapers and channels are not so alert when the culprits are Muslims. Either the incidents are not reported or are regularly downplayed. The beating up of an Indian man in Qatar is a case in point. This despite the fact that videos depicting the thrashing of the unfortunate Keralite had gone viral on social media.

According to a BBC report on May 13, “The assault happened reportedly over anti-Islam Facebook posts, and Qatari police had to intervene. Some reports say the man has denied doing so and this was a case of mistaken identity.”

The man was beaten up near a mall in Doha, when a group approached and confronted the man about screenshots of Facebook comments against the Prophet and Islam that had been circulating among the Keralite expatriate community, says the report. “Other shoppers joined in and beat up the man, while some employees from the mall tried to stop the assault. Several filmed the incident, and videos and photographs from the event have gone viral on WhatsApp.”

Now, imagine an Indian getting bashed up in the United States for badmouthing Jesus and slandering Christianity by some evangelist hotheads. The entire Indian media—indeed all over the world—would have condemned the white racism, xenophobia, etc., in America. Similarly, had it been the case of misbehavior with a black American or African, our news channels and print media would have gone over mad over our prejudices against dark skin.

But in the case of the assault on the Kerala man, the mainstream media did not bother much, nor did the other opinion-makers and the conscience-keepers of mankind. In general, too, they turn a blind eye to the violation of human rights in Qatar—or, for that matter, in other Middle Eastern countries.