As Muslim man hacked to death in hate crime, TV channels discuss #NeechPolitics on prime time

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On December 7, a horrific video emerged from Rajasthan. In the gruesome clip that shook the collective conscience of the nation, a middle aged man is seen hacked and burned to death. The killer is seen boasting on video of ‘teaching a lesson’ to those who indulge in ‘love jihad’. The sheer savagery of the incident though was clearly not enough for some news channels who instead chose to focus on Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark on PM Modi. The gut wrenching news from Rajasthan was largely ignored on prime time.

Republic TV was the usual culprit. Carrying the hashtag #CongNeechPolitics, the channel conducted a prime time debate on the topic. Political mudslinging seemed editorially more important than a story highlighting lawlessness and brazenness of the perpetrators in the Rajasthan hate crime incident. Republic TV also ran a poll on its twitter page asking viewers the question “Will ‘neech’ insult backfire like ‘chaiwala’ did in 2014?”

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