Two Stories and Two Different Yardsticks of Mainstream Media

Wah re media. You don't allow Jyoti Maurya to have the same. You are not advising her husband to allow his former wife to live life on her own as their marriage has failed but you want Ghulam Haider to accept Seema's love for another person

In both stories, the woman is either a ‘villain’ or a ‘heroine’ depending on what she has done. This reflects the absolute criminalisation or communalisation of Indian electronic media. One story belongs to a woman named Jyoti Maurya, who is now an officer in the Uttar Pradesh government. The story about her is that she was married to a person who during their marriage time pretended to be an officer but was actually a ‘safai-karmchari’. Normally, such lies and deceit are part of our ‘value system. Whenever we look for a ‘girl’ or boy we cook up stories and definitely a primary teacher becomes a ‘professor’ or a lab assistant becomes a doctor. Many of those who get married without even having a job, get a handsome ‘dowry’, just because their parents claim they are ‘preparing’ for ‘civil services’. Though most of them never qualify for that yes they get a ‘good bride’ and dowry both. This is the reality of the cow belt. Jyoti Maurya became the biggest ‘villain’ because she left her husband due to a marital dispute.

The mainstream media in India had developed the narrative that she had left her husband because he was a ‘safai-karmchari’. Let me tell you here too that safai-karmchari was a job mainly done by the Dalits or a community of Valmikis, Rawats or Helas in north India but a few years back when the government of Uttar Pradesh created some permanent jobs at the Panchayat level, the salary of the Safai Karmcharis was far better than those original mazdoors who goes into sewage line or working with municipalities as a majority of them are daily wage workers.

The irony is that for the Panchayat Safai Karmcharis who rarely do any cleaning or sanitary work, a majority of people from other communities got into the job. It would be interesting to note the exact number of appointments given to them and a majority will be from either OBCs or Savarnas. That is the social justice projects in our states where when the money comes into the occupation that degrades the communities they were engaged in, then ‘others’ jump in.

Anyway, now Jyoti Maurya’s husband claims that his wife left her because she has now become an SDM and does not want to live with him. The media, and the people as usual are blaming Jyoti Maurya for not following Indian ‘culture’ where a woman is ultimately a wife even if she has become an officer, she needs to follow the social order or cultural taboos. Jyoti Maurya’s story of a relationship with other officers is being highlighted and people are making videos and stories about them. Why can’t the media leave them and allow the courts to act on what is purely a marital dispute?

For a media which has become obsessed with playing Hindu-Muslim cards all the time, the story of Seema Haider has come at the right time. Seema Haider is a Pakistani woman with four children who left her family, home and country to be with her newfound love Sachin Meena. They met on social media and slowly developed a liking for each other. Seema went to Nepal to meet Sachin in March this year. They stayed for several days with new promises of life and death together.

Seema came to India illegally to be with Sachin. Her arrival to India without any visa is the failure of the system at the borders with Nepal where identity cards should have been seen. Government must focus on the issue of how can anyone enter India without being checked with his or her identity card. Moreover, she had four children and it was easier for the security agencies to ask questions. With trafficking an important issue on the Indo-Nepal border, it truly reflects the status of how people enter here. The government must strengthen the border mechanism. It is a beautiful feeling that we can enter Nepal any time but at least such lapses are not good. She was received by Sachin and then they went to a lawyer in Bulandshahar who then informed the police and they were arrested. A court gave them bail and now they are at their home. Sachin and Seema have now ‘married’ and both say they live for each other. Sachin has ‘accepted’ her four children while Seema has ’embraced’ Hinduism and is naturally happy.

Now, Seema Haider is an instant heroine in Indian media. All of a sudden she is being asked so many questions. How India is great and her children here will get better ‘opportunities’ than Pakistan. And the media asked her husband Gulam Haider to leave her honourably and allow the children to live their life on their own. How the children are raising the slogan ‘ Hindustan Zindabad’.

The media want Seema’s husband Ghulam Haider to forget his children and allow Seema to live with her new love. Seema is full of ‘praise’ for India. She says that Indians will help her children grow and they will study in good schools and will earn lots of money. It is another matter for all of us how our youths at the moment are jobless and how our schools and colleges are in bad shape. One does not know how Sachin would take care of four members of the family with a Rs 15,000 job. But then in our part of the world, we never give a thought to these issues which can create problems in our life. For everyone, it is a ‘jung’ that Sachin has ‘won’ for India that a Muslim girl and that too from Pakistan has come to India and embraced Hinduism. They are happy with this and don’t even bother as to what is going to happen when they will really start their life. There is another story, as who knows what Seema Haidar is? Whether she is an intelligence plant from Pakistan. The way she is confidently giving answers on behalf of Sachin is too much.

The media suggest that Sachin and Seema are true lovers and we should allow them to live their love life. They say love is important but why should the media make a mockery of everything? Let them have love and don’t make it a Hindu-Muslim, India-Pakistan issue. It has a technical issue when Seema is not divorced then how can she marry Sachin? What does the law say in such issues if they are inter-country couples?

In the meanwhile, our media’s agenda is visible. Wah re media. You don’t allow Jyoti Maurya to have the same. You are not advising her husband to allow his former wife to live life on her own as their marriage has failed but you want Ghulam Haider to accept Seema’s love for another person.

Let us see how Indian courts decide this issue. Just because Seema has come here doesn’t mean her former husband has lost her right but it is also a fact that her life will definitely be highly endangered if she is compelled to return to Pakistan. Religious fanaticism will ruin all of us as it will leave none of us. Fanatics will wait for their victory stories. When the government fails the goons pick up the lead role and minorities suffer everywhere.

Remember one can be a majority in one country and a minority elsewhere. Better sense should prevail to save humanity in our part of the world.

Meanwhile, enjoy the hypocrisy of the ‘Manustream’ media.


Read this story in Hindi too.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The author is an activist and is currently working on Impact of Ganga and its tributaries in the Himalayas and the plains of India

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