It is not without reason that Karnataka has come to symbolize the new India in the information and knowledge era. One just has to browse the mushrooming sources of online news from the second tier of urban centers of Karnataka to appreciate how the information revolution is touching the heartland.

Offstumped has been routinely reviewing 3 news sources one from Mangalore and 2 from Bhatkal to find a high degree of local news being reported online. Sahil and Bhatkallys from Bhatkal are unique in the sense that they are english language sites setup by Muslim organisations.

Sahil had this story yesterday on a rally in Mangalore in support of Madrassas. The reporting on this rally leaves no one in doubt on its political objectives.

A protest rally against the demand of Sangh parivar’s communal outfit for locking-up of Madrasas and Rally against terrorism and communalism was organized here in Mangalore by the Muslim Central Committee from the Central Jama Masjid of Mangalore to the Deputy Commissioner’s office yesterday in Mangalore.

It is interesting to note how the issue has been framed “demand of sangh parivar for locking up madrasas”. No mention is made of who made this demand of whom and when. But no such niceties for this rally.

Presiding over the function, Mr. KM Mohammed Maswood, the president of the Central Muslim Committee, said that the BJP leaders are violating constitution of India by demanding the lock up of Madrasa. Their attitude was against the constitution of the country.

One can see from the reporting on this rally the power of the information age to misinform and indoctrinate. It would be interesting to know if the Congress and the JD-S had anything to do with this rally.

Offstumped Bottomline: As Karnataka heads for the polls, the recent arrests in Bangalore and Indore are bound to result in radical Islamic Terrorism and the SIMI factor becoming poll issues. Ideally there should be no room for partisan politics on these issues with the only point of debate being the approach to deal with them. Rallies of this kind that deliberately seek to mobilise the Muslim community on the basis of false issues will inject partisanship into the political debate and end up hurting the Muslim community to its detriment.

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Offstumped is written by Yossarin from the Indian National Interest

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