Current Affairs

Kathua rape & Syria bombing: How we are manipulated by media

On the pretext of Kathua rape incident and its aftermath as well as renewed bombing by US, France and Britain in Syria, there are certain deeper truths which we need to understand to save ourselves from manipulation. There are certain aspects of human behavioural weakness which can be successfully exploited to garner support for extremely insidious and sinister motives, veiled behind the declaration of noble deeds. Our vulnerability to the plight of children happens to be among the foremost such weakness. We don’t immediately connect to the plight of a 30 year old male of Syria but we feel that there is a kind of moral obligation to speak against the plight of children.

When we are told that an 8 year old girl was raped and killed, the sympathy module of our brain gets activated but what follows thereafter is basically the lies fed by propagandists to advance their agenda. In the case of Kathua rape incident, our vulnerability is exploited to defame Dharma and wage the civilization war to aggravate the shaming of Hindu identity. While on the other hand, visuals of dead children are used to advocate for multiculturalism in Europe on one hand while destabilization of Assad regime on other hand.

It’s not a new tactic to exploit our vulnerability towards the plight of children which is used to advocate something entire different from rest but tested time and again and polished by the flourishing mass media. In Kosovo, NATO under the leadership of US accused Milesovich of committing similar crime to start bombing down Kosovo and Serbia, killing much more in its own offensive. Ask someone if US should intervene in Syria and the answer might be a big no, but ask the same question with the additional detail that Assad regime just killed 20 innocent children today. The person will turn hysterical and raise his voice to dethrone a baby-killer immediately without realising that consequences are going to be same.Our sympathy for the plight of children is due to biological factors as well as our inability to see the history in its true context. While a child is deemed innocent in popular narrative and he is indeed innocent but world is a complex place. A child doesn’t exist in isolation as such but he is merely a bridge between past and future. Irrespective of his innocence, he can’t save himself from the spectre of past and brutality of future. He will have to pay the price of choices made by his ancestors even if he couldn’t have any say in that. For example, we are somehow paying the prices of choice made by our ancestors in remote past such as strategic shortsightedness of Hindu rulers and predilection of our previous generation for Congress. In similar way, my children will be paying the choices made by me in which he will have no say at all. History is a continuum and seeing things in isolation due to our emotional outburst doesn’t change the empirical reality.                                                                                                                               In this circumstance, another important factor is inability of the most of the people to think in terms of second order consequences. When he advocates for removing Assad because he kills children, he stops seeing the consequences at the point when Assad is removed. He stopped seeing things at the point when Saddam Hussain was hanged. He stops seeing things at the point alleged rapists of Asifa are put to death without seeing how this case is being used by propagandists to either call for removal of current regime or projecting it as clinching evidence of barbarian nature of Hindus. As I say, “It’s alright to be an idiot. Don’t be a useful idiot ever.”

Satish Verma

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