Conversion is not a new problem miring the Hindu society. However, the way media treats it is becoming a cause of concern for the majority of this country. Another one of such mistreatment is currently going on in Tamil Nadu. Tamil media is attacking the family of Lavanya, who had killed herself.
17-year old commits suicide due to forced conversion
Recently, a 17-year old child had to kill herself due to being constantly pressurized to change her religion from Hinduism to Christianity. She was a student of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Thirukattupali in Thanjavur. Sacred Heart is a government-aided Christian school.
Apparently, Lavanya was being coerced with indirect measures to convert. The coercion came in the form of punishment. At the time when other children had gone for Pongal holidays, Lavanya was forced to clean toilets, wash dishes and do other chores. The little kid could not near the pain and drank pesticide.
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In her dying declaration, Lavanya had said, “My name is Lalita (name changed). They (school) had asked my parents in my presence if they can convert me to Christianity and help her for further studies. Since I didn’t accept, they kept scolding me”
Media bias explicitly visible
Meanwhile, the media did not cover it with a conversion angle. Times of India tried to twist it as a suicide by the child who could not bear the stress. Even after the conversion angle was revealed, the media tried its best to suggest otherwise. When Lavanya’s mother was describing her plight, the reporters tried to obfuscate the issue.
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When the mother was stating that Lavanya had killed herself after being forced for conversion, media persons asked her about police denying these claims. Poor mother lost her patience with the media and said “Do you want to say what she said in her dying declaration is false”?
Media criticised for insensitive coverage
The lopsided coverage from media was criticised by every corner of the public space.
SG Suryah, Company Secretary and BJP media spokesperson called irrational questioning of the mother as the lowest point of media coverage.
R Rajagopalan, a well-known journalist showcased how 7 popular Tamil TV blacked out the conversion angle in suicide.
Kapil Mishra, a prominent BJP leader slammed the silence of every section including media, judiciary and political class.
Anshul Saxena, another prominent social media influencer criticised media for ignoring the conversion angle.
Various other tweets were sent in support of Lavanya.
The way people in the public domain have come out in support of Lavanya is a clear indication of the fact that Hindus are more aware than ever of Conversions. The media should learn some lessons from these individuals. Conversions are real and they have been going on in India for the last 400-500 years. Ignoring it will not solve the problem; it will only lead to the illegitimacy of traditional media.