BBC, CNN headlines on Ram Mandir ignite social media; users term it 'hate-mongering'
Social media users criticized the BBC for its headline that emphasized the demolition of the Babri mosque, contrasting it with their coverage of Hagia Sophia's conversion in Turkey
The hypocrisy of the Western media when it comes to most things Indian is well documented and often gets called out. One such instance was witnessed during British Broadcasting Corporation's coverage of the Ram Mandir consecration. Social media users fumed after the BBC ran the headline 'Ayodhya Ram Mandir: India PM Modi inaugurates Hindu temple on razed Babri mosque site'. Many of them were quick to point out the double-standards and highlighted the headlines that the British broadcaster had put out when the iconic Hagia Sophia in Turkey was converted from a museum to a mosque. The BBC headline then read: 'Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque'.
The manner in which a loaded headline was put out for the Ram Mandir inauguration has not gone down well with social media users. Some reminded the BBC of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case.
On November 9, the five senior judges resolved a century-old dispute by relying on a report from the Archaeological Survey of India. The report confirmed the existence of a structure beneath the mosque built in the mid-16th century, but it did not specify whether this structure was a mosque.
The court deemed the demolition of the mosque in 1992, followed by riots that claimed the lives of over 2,000 people, as a "calculated act of destroying a place of public worship." It asserted that the Muslim community had been "wrongly deprived of a mosque constructed well over 450 years ago."
In a 1,045-page judgment, the court stated, "...on a balance of probabilities, the evidence of the possessory claim of the Hindus...stands on a better footing than the evidence given by the Muslims."
Furthermore, the court ordered the allocation of a five-acre "suitable" plot of land to the Sunni Waqf Board. The judges emphasized that this decision aimed to acknowledge the wrongdoing and provide remedial action.
However, the Apex court judgment wasn't enough for the BBC to reopen old wounds that have haunted this country for decades. The report cited critics as accusing the "government of exploiting a religious celebration in a country which -- according to its constitution -- is secular". "For Muslims, India's biggest minority, the event evoked fear and painful memories, members of the community in Ayodhya told the BBC in the run-up to Monday's ceremony," the report further said.
Social media users also called out CNN for its headlines.
Kanchan Gupta, Senior Adviser in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said on social media platform X, "Since anti-Hindu @BBC is hate-mongering to create a communal disturbance on the occasion of #Ayodhya Ram Mandir consecration, @CNN has also jumped into the septic tank of concocted anti-India ‘news’ with its twisted version and perverse assumptions of Muslim angst and anger."