Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Woolmer's death: Indian media manufacturing stigmaby Hameed Abdul Karim

By and large the Indian media goes about its profession in an objective manner. There is no doubt about that. But strangely when it comes to Pakistan, certain sections tend to go off at a tangent.

Take for example Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer's sudden demise in the West Indies. It provided the anti Pakistani sections of the Indian Media the opportunity of a lifetime. They tried to make poor Woolmer's murder - if murder it is - to look like some Pakistani cricket player or players were responsible for the crime.

NDTV went into a frenzy claiming many things at different times. At one time they said the Jamaican police had asked the Pakistani team not to leave their hotels suggesting a sort of 'hotel arrest'. Then they said the Pakistani team was prevented from leaving the West Indies as scheduled. This turned out to be a fib. The next time the subject came up they said the police were questioning two Pakistani players in connection with the murder. What they didn't say was this was normal police routine. Neither did they mention anything about the police questioning hotel staff and others who were in contact with the Pakistani team. They made sure the focus was kept on the Pakistani cricketers.

More recently Press Trust of India (PTI) reported the West Indies police had received a call from Pakistan giving them a major clue into the murder. This might sound strange, but no other media in the world seemed to have got wind of this 'scoop'. Usually the western media would lap up any negative story about Muslims anywhere. But this time even they seemed unaware of the major discovery PTI had made. I wonder how PTI got to know the call was from Pakistan. Was PTI keeping a track of all foreign calls made from Pakistan? Was the call made from a place close to the Indian border? 

PTI even went to the ludicrous extent of telling its gullible readers the caller was identified as a Pakistani male because of his accent! Enlighten me on that; how do you tell the difference between a Pakistani accent and an Indian one?

To add mystique to the 'mystery' a Zeecric report in a weekend paper says Bob Woolmer was poisoned with Aconite, the Harry Potter drug. Okay so here Zeecric - another Indian media outlet - was quoting 'one British daily'. But the gaffe that takes the cake was when Zeecric made an interpolation in that report saying 'Aconite has been used in several high profile assassinations in Pakistan'. Aha! The Indian media drags in Pakistan once again into the murder mystery by giving a clever and cunning twist to the 'news'. Move over aunt Agatha Chirstie - You've got competition! Pray, Zeecric, tell us how many high profile Pakistanis have been assassinated with Aconite - the Harry Potter poison? Give us just two cases. Okay we'll settle for one.

I have this suspicion sections of the Indian media are using poor Bob Woolmer's death to manufacture a stigma they can include in their propaganda arsenal to slam the Pakistani cricket team.

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