Memon , Muslims and media frenzy 

@TCNLive: Yakub Memon, Muslims and media frenzy http://t.co/scqR3yRe0E

Yakub Memon , his crime & verdict need no introduction .Instead of going into the details would like to focus on the reactions. When the case came back into news, it did raise a lot of curiosity. Many wanted him to be hanged and some wanted the death penalty to be abolished.

Both sides started their arguments, people reminded about the victims, who lost their lives while others thought since he had surrendered and helped in the investigation, he should not be hanged. But suddenly everything changed when a communal angle was added to it.

Politicians and media played a crucial role, media channels held debates and discussion, aired views of various politicians adding them to the storm. A very disturbing impression was created that Muslims were supporting a terror accused only because of his faith. Statements by some politicians that Memon will be hanged only because he is a Muslim, were repeatedly shown on the TV. Random tweets and quotes were used to show how Muslims are upset with the verdict. Something which started as pro-death penalty vs anti-death penalty debate suddenly became communal.

This whole episode raises the issue of proper Muslim leadership and its priorities.Do Indian Muslims have any leadership? Are we able to put across our grievances and opinions in a proper way? Are we being manipulated by politicians and media for their own gains?

Let us not forget that hundreds of Muslim youth are in jails for petty crimes only because they don’t have proper legal help. Many spent years as under-trials, fail to get hearings and by the time they come out, their lives are changed forever. Wouldn’t it be better that we try to help such youth and guide them? Our responsibility towards them is more important.

People quoting Srikrishna Commission report and other controversial cases fail to explain their silence all these years. Combining these issues is not helping at all, rather sending wrong signals. Honestly, (it is) not even helping Memon.

Any shortcomings in the case should be addressed legally, not by creating a media frenzy. And who will be the worst victim of all this??? The nation and the Muslim community, and, as a result, Muslims will be further marginalised.

Unfortunately, a very conflicting message is sent across. Later, when we raise our voice in support of any innocent victim, we will either be unheard or will fail to garner support from all sections.

Do we want death penalty to be abolished? Yes, but without communalising the issue. I would want that if someone is spared the gallows, it should be based only on humanitarian grounds, not on his/her faith.

(Dr Kouser Fathima is a Bengaluru based writer. She can be reached at Drkf_18@hotmail.com)

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