Meat Ban

I invite your kind attention to a letter published under the heading “Meat Ban Unwarranted” by Mr. S. Chopra (Punjab) and another letter published under the heading “Meat Ban is Retrograde” vide issue of Radiance  17-23 April 2022 and 15-21 May 2022 respectively.

Why do members of Hindu Community (Read : upper caste) have so much interest in Muslims’ food habits, when Muslims do not peep into their kitchen ?

It should be noted by these flag-bearers of vegetarianism that only Muslims are not meat-eaters. There are other segments of society inclusive of Hindu Castes who are also eating meat in plenty.

Farooq Abdulgafar Bawani

Rajkot, Gujarat

VHP-Bajrang Dal Arms Training

A week-long arms training was held in the campus of Sai Shankar Vidyalaya, Ponnampet, Kodagu district, photos of which have gone viral on social media. MLAs of the district, KG Bopaiah, MP Appachu Ranjan, MLC Kushalappa and other state level Hindu leaders are stated to have graced the training. The Intelligence Department of Police was clueless about it. More than 120 participants were trained in the camp. (Udayavani, dated 16 May, 2022)

By giving birth to militia groups like VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc., RSS is moving forward in its goal to eliminate Muslims, and other weaker sections of India. When such illegal acts are noticed, RSS dissociates itself by saying it was not their act. RSS, which never fought for the Independence of India, is ruling India, by installing its “Pracharaks” on key posts.

Abdul Rahman Sharief

Via Email

Journalists in the Crosshairs

The recent killing of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh, “icon of Palestinian coverage”, is indeed a heinous crime because silencing the voices of those who tell stories of oppressed people is part of a deliberate strategy employed by vested interests. The tragic event has sparked global outrage and world leaders are demanding that those responsible be held to account immediately.

According to the International Press Institute, the death toll of media people rose to 28 this year, while in 2021 the group logged a total of 45.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, media freedoms in this region are being increasingly curtailed – and violence against journalists is on the rise. The last two years alone have seen eminent journalists such as Marie Colvin and Tim Hetherington killed while reporting on armed conflicts.

Just last month, two journalists were killed while reporting in Syria. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro both died while serving as war photographers. Increasingly, though, we are witnessing the targeting of journalists because they are journalists.

The deadly attacks on journalists in the recent past have taken a toll not just on individuals but also on journalism as a profession. The latest trend is when the story can’t be killed, the storyteller is silenced. It’s old wine in the new bottle style of governments at large going after what is perceived as the opposition media.

Media experts say that journalists, like civilians, are never legitimate targets in a conflict zone, and so this would mean that a deliberate attack on a journalist would be a violation of international law and those responsible would need to be held to account. The failure to respond quickly to attacks on journalists and to hold those responsible for the initial attacks creates what we call a cycle of violence, a cycle of impunity where those responsible feel that they can act without consequences, and see it as an open invitation to attack journalists.

The most important thing that can be done in cases targeting media in violent acts is accountability. It sounds very simple, but it isn’t – we know that in at least 90 per cent of cases in which journalists are murdered, those responsible are not held to account.

Instead of patronising the attackers on journalists, governments should lend an ear to the genuine grievances faced by the whistle-blowers who often grapple with a number of issues. The State needs to ensure stringent punishment for the perpetrators if a journalist is assaulted or intimidated in connection with the performance of duty. Killing journalists does not kill the truth.

Javvadi Lakshmana Rao,

Visakhapatnam,

Andhra Pradesh

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