“The book that begins with ‘We, the people of India’ is the God that we failed”
“Raja and rishi are no longer”
With a picture of the Constitution, and a white-on-black headline, ‘The Telegraph’ (above) says India witnessed a “ritual merger of the Church and State” in Ayodhya, at the ground-breaking ceremony on August 5.
“PM fulfils nation’s aspiration”: ‘The Hitavada’ reflects the sentiment of the city it is located in (Nagpur) and the politics of its owners (Purohits).
Only a handful of English newspapers in Kashmir and the Northeast, play down the ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya for the Ram Temple.
Hindi dailies like ‘Dainik Jagran’ and ‘Dainik Bhaskar’ fed into and benefitted from the Hindutva movement in the 1990s.
Now, newspapers in other languages, including Malayalam (above) and Tamil, seem to have hit upon the same over-the-top majoritarian formula.
In the vast ocean of language newspapers, all happily flying the Hindutva flag, the Kannada daily Praja Vani (above) from the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald group, has the most understated front page, lead headline and photograph, among 48 newspapers surveyed today.
But only just.
“Stone laid for ‘Hindu rashtra’” is the clear-eyed headline of the CPI(M) mouthpiece in Kerala, ‘Deshabhimani’ (above) edited by former Rajya Sabha member and ‘Sansad Ratna’, P. Rajeev.
The class-toppers in their unbridled tom-tomming of majoritarianism—in their words, photos, headlines, colours, and near-complete absence of anything that approximates to critical thinking—continue to be Hindi newspapers.
Foreign newspapers were decidedly less upbeat about the event.
The Washington Post
The Globe and Mail, Toronto
The Times, London
The New York Times