Recently in the New Delhi Morning Star News an article was published titled “Persecution of Christians Rockets in Karnataka, India”. Within the article it is explained that Hindu extremists are raging through Karnataka state brutally attacking non Hindus, specifically those of Christian faith. In detail the article says that on September 13th a 50-year-old Christian woman was attacked for more than six hours, while being dragged through the village and marched in and out of Hindu temples. These types of attacks are increasing in number. According to the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, “Christians in Karnataka state have suffered at least 21 attacks from June to mid-September, compared with just four attacks from January to May,” The article claims that the reasoning behind the attacks has to do with the last election, where the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party lost seats in the state legislative assembly.
This article you can tell quite obviously came from a Christian news source. Taken from Morning Star News and displayed on the Christian News Network. This article has a clear bias. This segregated impression of Hinduism is quite negative compared to the larger, broad impression Hinduism has given the Western world. In the Western world many non practicing Hindus may only have a vague idea of what Hinduism is as a religion. However, like with many other world religions the Western world looks at Hinduism with an element of mysticism. A viewpoint that stems from the many practices and beliefs of Hinduism such as icon idolatry, the Vedas, samsara, and many others. Mysticism is created because while some understand these traditions of Hinduism, to many they are largely unknown and have been portrayed in popular culture as mystical and foreign. With this understanding, you can gain a better sense of how Hindu’s are portrayed in the article. Let me preface this and say that I don’t condone extremist and violent actions; but in the article the author never once tries to explain the concepts of Hinduism, or give any background information on Hinduism for that matter. Instead they paint the article in very black and white terms. They set up the Christians as the self-explanatory good guys, while the Hindu’s are the bad guys. It’s very much in line with how I feel many news outlets portray their news. Especially when there is a threat to Christian values, seen as a result of the Western world being so heavily saturated in Christian ideals and traditions.
Keeping this in mind, my first impression of the article was quite skeptical. It feels like there is information missing. Not only do they only speak with Christian representatives, but they have no official recordings. No third-party to confirm the actions of either group. Thus, as I stated earlier it only paints the picture from a very biased Christian viewpoint. At the same time it’s a purely Christian new source so you tend to expect that. Despite this fact, it’s my belief that it’s these heavily one-sided news stories that we, as the public, need to stay away from. Why? Because instead of learning to understand one another we continue to pull apart, and with religion being held as such a personal attachment it’s important that we try to understand each other. Articles like this only articulate the “otherness” of Eastern religions, and that I feel needs to come to an end.