The Karmapa is not…

The Karmapa is not…

On 26 January, two Indians were arrested with a large amount of cash, which led to the raid on the residential premise of the Karmapa at Gyuto near Dharamsala. The Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, is the spiritual head of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. From the room of the Karmapa's monk accountant, the police seized foreign currencies, including a large amount of Indian rupees, which has become a feast of sorts for the Indian media. Instead of presenting well-researched news, various media channels sought comfort in eye-catching headlines and unsubstantiated allegations. Some of the headlines read:

'Tibetan Karmapa a Chinese Agent in Himachal'

'Foreign money seized at Dalai Lama heir's home'

'Karmapa may be Chinese agent'

'11 lakh yuan link: Karmapa may be a Chinese plant'

Journalism, in general, has become rampant and trite in recent years. In India, this disease has percolated throughout the media. The fundamental principle of balanced, intelligent and analytical reporting is being overshadowed by lurid, headline-grabbing and too often irresponsible news presentation. This is a dangerous development in a democracy, where the media has a key role to play.

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Himal Southasian