Star of Mysore, a daily evening newspaper from Mysuru in Karnataka has referred to the Muslim community as “bad” and “rotten apples” in its editorial dated April 6th and has called for getting “rid” of the community, enraging its readers and the wider public for its blatant call for genocide against the community.
The editorial opinion that called a particular community as ‘bad apples’ during the ongoing nationwide lockdown and also suggesting to ‘get rid of them’ in a manner similar to a dictator who ruled Singapore, or using the Israeli model.
“Campaign against hate speech”, a civil society group has sent a notice to the editor of the Star of Mysore for its editorial and asked to immediately seek apology over this objectionable editorial, otherwise legal action would be taken.
Clarifying that the phrase bad apples means rotten apples, it directly suggests “…The nation is currently hosting an annoying 18 percent of its population self-identifying as rotten apples.”The editorial which came in the wake of the Tablighi jamaat incident has now been removed from the right-wing newspaper’s website. It begins with a remark on the public’s compliance of the nationwide lockdown, and goes on to state that “…the unedifying conduct of some sections in the population, marked by their faith and other features including their attire may bring to our mind the analogy of bad apples in the basket”.
The notice has called out the editorial as ‘targeting and spreading hatred towards a particular community and for violating the recognized canons of journalistic propriety and taste’.
In an effort to not generalise by saying that bad apples exist in all spheres, the article goes on to suggest a highly disturbing solution ”…An ideal solution to the problem created by bad apples is to get rid of them, as the former leader of Singapore did a few decades ago or as the leadership in Israel is currently doing.”
It needs no emphasis that the act of getting rid of something could mean a horribly different thing in a former dictatorship or in a country that openly incarcerates an entire community, compared to what is understood in a democracy, i.e Israel. Both countries have a poor record of human rights and definitely something that country like India should aspire to..
The open targeting of an entire community is so shocking that it overshadows a misquoting of Albert Einstein when it calls the sections of our country as a “...living testimony to the extent of irresponsible conduct to which some human beings can descend. This mass, which is a big drag on the back of the Government of the day, is marked by three great qualities namely stupidity, fear and greed”
The article ends with a vague acknowledgment of the efforts of a few elite whose actions may achieve what the editorial suggests “…some business executives, including Mysuru’s home-grown elite, are leading by example. Their acts, one hopes, can get rid of the bad apples in society, which are proving to be more harmful than the dreaded virus itself.”
Star of Mysore, an evening daily of Mysuru, has apologized on its front page on April 10, for indirectly comparing a particular community to “rotten apples” and for seemingly calling for getting “rid” of them.