Since the advent of Modi government into power, Lutyens’ media has tried to establish the fiction- freedom of the press is in danger under Modi government- as fact. Few sections of media are trying their level best to peddle the agenda that journalists are unsafe in India and the anti-Modi and the anti-BJP journalists are being selectively targeted and killed.
However, data tells us a completely different story, altogether. Let us first analyze the data of journalists killed under the UPA government. According to the data compiled by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) between the year 2008 to 2013, 14 Journalists were killed under the UPA rule. In 2008, four journalists were killed and India’s rank was 13th. In 2009, one journalist lost his life and in that year India’s rank was 14th position. In 2010 also one journalist was killed. In 2011, two journalists were killed. Two journalists were again killed in 2012. In 2013, four journalists were murdered. Between the year 2009-2013, India slipped to 12th place in CPJ Impunity index.
India’s ranking improved under Modi rule in 2014. It occupied 13th spot. In 2015, one journalist was murdered in India and India’s ranking further improved by one point and it was on 14th spot. In 2016, two journalists were killed and India once again came on 13th position. In 2017, 4 journalists were exterminated and India’s decline further. It was on 12th position. Till now, three journalists have been murdered in 2018 but only Shujaat Bhukari’s death received maximum attention for some secular and ideological reasons. Since 2015 to till date, 10 journalists have lost their lives while 14 journalists had had been killed between the UPA ruled 2008-2013 period.
Under the incumbent centre government, many deceased journalists were murdered under the non-BJP ruling states and considering the fact that India follows a federal structure, law and order is a state subject. So, the state government is accountable for the murder and as well as for the safety of the journalists and not the central government.
Only difference between the journalists killed under the NDA rule and journalists killed under the UPA rule is that during the UPA rule there was no such narrative that freedom of press is in danger under UPA government and also no outrage was carried out by journalists of Lutyens’ media on the killing of journalist under their political masters’ rule. It seems, all journalists are equal but some journalists are more equal than others. By the aforementioned data, it is very clear that few sections of media affiliated to a particular ideology and political party used the murder of the journalists to peddle their agenda against the incumbent government. It is no exaggeration to say that in order to tarnish the image of ruling government and serve the interest of their political master these people did vulture politics and manufactured the narrative that journalists are under threat under Modi government.