Anti-NRC protest in Mangaluru brings ‘media bias’ to the fore

Abu Muhammad | coastaldigest.com
January 16, 2020

Even as the Muslims of undivided Dakshina Kannada district broke out of the “spiral of silence” and made history by leading an unprecedented protest against CAA, NPR and NRC as well as the categorial mistreatment of non-saffronites at the hands of the police across the country, mainstream media turned a blind eye to the spectacle at the Shah Garden Maidan in Mangaluru’s Adyar where about two lakh patriots with tricolor in their hands converged to assert themselves on January 15th, 2020, a date which will be remembered by the people of coastal Karnataka forever.

The largest gathering in the history of Mangaluru was absolutely peaceful, law-abiding and respectful. While the slogans of ‘Azaadi’ were reverberating in the atmosphere, the protesters were seen making way for vehicles and passersby, taking care of women and helping elderly citizens on the highway adjacent to the ground. Though the organisers and most of the participants were Muslims, they collectively identified themselves as “We, the people of India”.

The district administration and the police department hadn’t imagined or even dreamt of such a mammoth gathering after blocking the highway and banning public transport from 9 am to 9 pm. Many opine that this action was taken only to discourage the concerned from participating in the protest and to create fear in the hearts of the people who are yet to process the unjustifiable deaths of two innocent citizens in an unwarranted police firing a few weeks ago.

What has since surprised the protesters most is the mainstream media’s blatant attempt to downplay the significance of this largest ever gathering. Shockingly, it could not make it to the front pages of any of the state-level Kannada daily newspapers except city-based Vaartha Bharathi. In the absence of The Hindu, which had announced a holiday on account of Makar Sankranti, most of the English newspapers too pitilessly buried the historic event in their inner pagers. National TV channels too were evidently reluctant to cover the event until NDTV started telecasting the news of the protest.

This uneasy relationship between the media and minorities in coastal Karnataka has long existed, but the non-coverage of the huge protest of Jan 15 marks a quantum leap beyond the media’s traditional pro-Sangh Parivar stance and biases –– which in the past had often demonised non-saffronites –– to now completely ignore and suppress the people’s voice. This media bias has naturally evoked a sharp response from netizens, who took to social media to issue clarion calls to boycott the mainstream media forever.

Cleanliness Drive

Most major protest meets and rallies –– both religious and political –– leave behind tonnes of garbage, especially water bottles, placards and buntings. However, the organisers of the Jan 15 protest meet led by example by launching a cleanliness drive in the area soon after the protesters left the venue peacefully. The drive continued on Jan 16 too. (Ironically, amidst this ongoing cleanliness drive, a local news portal captured photos of a few plastic bottles scattered along the road at Adyar and published a report accusing the event organisers and participants of polluting the area!)

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News Network
June 20,2022

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Mangaluru, June 20: Veteran Beary activist and writer U A Khasim Ullal, passed away at his residence in the city early on Monday morning. 

74-year-old is survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters besides a large number of relatives, friends and fans. 

He was one of the pioneers of Mangaluru based Muslim Lekhakara Sanhga and Beary literature movement. 

Apart from promoting Beary literature through his works, he has also written in Kannada language. His short stories, poems and novels have inspired many young writers in coastal Karnataka, especially in Beary community.

He has also served as an office bearer of Kendra Beary Parishad and Beary Literary & Cultural Association, and a member of the Beary Sahitya Academy.

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News Network
June 15,2022

Bengaluru, June 15: Karnataka Higher Education minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Wednesday said examination centres will be videographed during the Common Entrance Test (CET) for professional courses in the state this year, aimed at curbing exam malpractices.

These exams are for admissions to engineering, agriculture, veterinary, pharmacy, and other courses from June 16-18. A total of 2,16,525 candidates have registered for CET-2022, and the examination will be conducted in 486 examination centres across the state, out of which 87 are located in Bengaluru and 399 are in the rest of the state, the minister's office said in a release.

On June 16, exams for biology (morning) and mathematics (afternoon) are scheduled, while physics (morning) and chemistry (afternoon) will be held on June 17.

Kannada language test will be conducted for Horanadu and Gadinadu Kannadiga candidates at selective centres on June 18.

As many as 486 observers (assistant commissioner cadre), 972 Special Invigilation Squad members, 486 custodians, and approximately 9,600 invigilators and a total of 20,483 officers/officials have been deployed to discharge the examination duties, Narayan stated.

The questions and answers in each subject paper will be printed both in English and Kannada languages. In case of any discrepancy in the English and Kannada versions, the English version will be taken as final, he said.

A total of 1,708 candidates have registered to write the Kannada language test on June 18 which will be conducted at Bidar, Belagavi, Vijaypura, Ballari, Mangaluru, and Bengaluru.

The candidates will not be allowed to wear or carry any type of wristwatch to the examination hall/room. They should not carry any tablet or mobile or calculator to the examination hall.

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News Network
June 27,2022

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Bengaluru, Jun 27: A doctor in Karnataka, who was on a Himalayan expedition, has been incommunicado since June 20, post which his family lodged a complaint with the state Police on Monday.

The panicked family members of Chandramohan, a doctor from the Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru, lodged a missing complaint in this regard with High Grounds police station in Bengaluru.

According to police, Chandramohan, who used to go for bike expeditions, had started off for Himalayan expedition on bike from Bengaluru. Investigation is on.

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