“Where is the media?” This is a question that was frequently asked with reference to the recent Basirhat riots. There was a widespread belief among right-wingers that media did not give enough attention to Basirhat riots. Was the media missing? Did the riots not get enough coverage?

Claims of no media coverage for Basirhat

The narrative that media was missing from Basirhat was carefully built. Amit Malviya, in-charge of the BJP IT cell raised the concern that a large section of the media was not reporting the riots.

A few others claimed that NDTV was missing.

Republic TV on the other hand, claimed that other than them, everyone else was missing.

Is there a truth behind these statements? Let us compare the media coverage of the Basirhat riots with another recent communal riot in Vadavali to find out.

A tale of two riots

A communal riot broke out in Vadavali village of Gujarat’s Patan district after a minor scuffle between Hindu and Muslim school student in March 2017. During the violence, a 5000-strong mob attacked a Muslim neighborhood. Nearly 142 houses of the Muslim community were damaged, 100 houses were burned down, 42 houses were damaged and looted. One person was killed during the violence and nearly 15-20 people were injured.

Like Vadavali, the riots in Badunia, Basirhat in West Bengal also saw loss of property. One person was stabbed to death. “Several dozen houses and shops of Hindus were vandalised and gutted, apart from nearly a dozen police vehicles that were torched. About two dozen people suffered injuries due to clashes between the agitators and police and also between the two communities”, reported Hindustan Times.

There are similarities between the two riots in terms of scale of loss of property and life. Both were instigated due to acts of minors. Let us compare the two in terms of media coverage they received.

How the two riots were reported:

Basirhat violence was covered extensively by print and electronic media. On social media hashtags relating to Basirhat trended for days. Basirhat ticked all the boxes. Unlike Vadavali, it was violence by Muslims and it was in West Bengal which is a non BJP state.

To gauge the coverage by various electronic media houses, we looked at the videos uploaded on their respective Youtube channels by these media houses. A quick glance at the videos posted by leading news channels on their YouTube channel reveals the following:

ChannelNumber of videos relating to VadavaliNumber of videos relating to Basirhat
CNN-IBN01
NDTV18
Times Now011
News X022
India Today019
Zee News09
India TV010
Aaj Tak04
Republic13

The number of stories on Basirhat far outnumbered those on Vadavali. Though there was widespread outrage on social media about Basirhat, Vadavali went largely unnoticed. Interestingly despite extensive media coverage, many on social media kept asking why there is no media coverage on Basirhat. Just like how they kept outraging and asking why there is no outrage over Basirhat.

Here are some of the hashtags dedicated to Basirhat by Times Now and Republic, the two news channels who actively run hashtags on Twitter:

Times Now: #HindusOnHatelist, #HindusDontCount, #BengalBlamegame, #MamataBlamegame, #NoMamataForHindus, #StopThisHate

Republic: #BengalTension, #BengalInvestigation, #BengalExpose, #BengalViolence, #Basirhat

While Republic TV was not launched at the time, there was not a single hashtag from Times Now on Vadavali riots. Times Now had one tweet on Vadavali compared to 40+ on Basirhat.

Samshad Pathan, a lawyer and Jan Sangharsh Manch activist told Frontline, “In the past few years, there has been a pattern: small riots, which do not attract national attention, have taken place. The attack is short but brutal. As in Vadavali, it is over in a matter of hours. This way no curfew is imposed and the incident is dismissed as a case of minor communal disharmony. Killing and molestations are avoided as these would invite media attention.” Even then, two people were killed in this brutal mob attack.

What about Vadavali? The question everyone forgot to ask.

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While Basirhat continues to dominate discussions, Vadavali is forgotten even though two people died in in the violence, hundreds became homeless and lost property worth crores. Many readers may not even have heard of Vadavali riots. This is how propaganda works. In its TRP driven agenda, media has let the victims of Vadavali down. It is a clear case of media bias. The fourth pillar of democracy has decided that Vadavali is not as ‘newsworthy’ as Basirhat. And in an attempt to build a false narrative, many BJP supporters are still lamenting lack of media coverage of Basirhat riots.

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23 Comments on "Media bias: A tale of two riots – Basirhat in West Bengal vs Vadavali in Gujarat"

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S K Sharan
Guest

Shamless ,both media & IT CELL f BJP.
BOTH PTOPOGATING Hate SUCCESSFILLY.
Shame on ,we ,the gearless & mindless

TCK
Guest

Baseless article, as I am living near the location in Gujarat.

True Indian
Guest

^basesless retarded bhakt commenting here

vishal
Guest

As only NDTV reported, it is fake. there is no such village Vadavali in Patan district of Gujrat. It is fake. If it would be true, at least Republic must have shown, that channel is not like Zee news or India TV, which are biased toward BJP.

Chimban
Guest

what a poor GK… hahahahaha (refer http://www.indiamapia.com/Patan/Vadavali.html)
Zinda kaise hai itna bura IQ leke bhai?
Kash ke kuch geography padh liya hota India ke bare mein. hahahahaha…..

Anon
Guest

Another retarded, partisan peddling potentially bigoted retoric whipped up by BJP and the likes. Vishal and the likes are petty pawns, paid to spread baseless, hollow and beaten lies on such platforms. Their sole agenda is to formulate fake consensus and prey on simple and uninformed folks.

It is rather simple, if ever you come across, such blanket statements masquerading as facts, do a quick google search to verify its mandate. That’s the least you can do.

Anti Troll
Guest

Idiot, first remove your hear from modi’s ass & read the article carefully. Republic had not yet started when riot happened in Vadavali. And as for your “No such village exists” even though you are fed your quota of fake news from sanghi websites like Postcard News, dont prove that you are so dumb to atleast google the word “Vadavali”.

Paul
Guest

“there is no such village Vadavali in Patan district of Gujrat. ”

no, it’s not fake. Actually you are fake and feku bhakt. There was some reports in the print media. Follow the links:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/patan-collector-terms-vadavali-violence-as-hindu-muslim-riot-4591838/

https://scroll.in/article/833371/violence-in-gujarat-village-was-a-planned-attack-on-muslims-not-clashes-after-scuffle-says-report

M K Gupta
Guest

Vadavli Village , Chanasma Taluka , Patan District – Onefivenine.com
Vadavli Pin code is 384221 and postal head office is Vadavali . … Vadavli is surrounded by Bechraji Taluka towards South , Harij Taluka towards west , Mahesana Taluka towards East , Patan Taluka towards North . Patan , Mahesana , Unjha , Sidhpur are the near by Cities to Vadavli.

The Patriot
Guest

Its there, Vadavali village in Patan district, Gujarat.
And this is what about this article. No media coverage about Vadavali.

If you dont know any thing then better dont wright anything.

SAM PHILIP
Guest

REPUBLIC not biased ??? joke of the year! most propogandist channel working for BJP.

sarfk.
Guest

The story done by NDTV might be fake Or can be claimed as Fake without providing any substantial proof by some of the commenter. However, Should we not check whether Vadavli, Gujarat exists or not before claiming IT DOES NOT.

There is handfull of print/electronic media who have reported the incident.
https://www.google.co.in/search?q=vadavali+in+Patan+district+of+Gujrat+riot&oq=vadavali+in+Patan+district+of+Gujrat+riot&aqs=chrome..69i57.5215j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

— Vadavli village direction from Patan —
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Patan,+Gujarat/Vadavli,+Gujarat+384221/@23.7467727,72.057735,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x395c87925f115695:0x6f1db1097c4ff9ce!2m2!1d72.1266255!2d23.8493246!1m5!1m1!1s0x395c6ffc9ba5c057:0xe17517755d79c9ab!2m2!1d72.1460561!2d23.6474844

shaun
Guest

Just look at articles, posted here , where only Muslims r victims , the only religion of peace in whose name the maximum number of crimes done to humanity through centuries. No matter how much alternative ideas you come up with to cover up the ugly face of Islam ..the truth will prevail ..amen

True Indian
Guest

And whatever defenses you come up with, you will always be a retard

Anuj Malik
Guest

Islam is a global problem. USA, Russia, China even Islamic countries are working on it in a tough way. But does that mean that Indian Hindus should take blood on their hands by killing own people?

alyousufi
Guest

Since when ‘Islam’ become the problem?

Rahul
Guest

Fake news! Apart from your fantasies – not even reported by local media.

INDIAN
Guest

ANOTHER ANTI INDIA WEBSITE

INDIAN
Guest

This is hilarious as this website claims to identify fake news but it itself is spreading biased fake news.
Cant believe nowadays anyone can start a news website,this is insane.

CSRINIVAS
Guest

I think from even your account Bengal riots look more serious than Gujarat, while the attempt to present facts is very good but you seem to be giving an anti BJP tinge to facts please try to present a balanced view to facts to preserve your credibility.

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