Stay on Transmission of Hate Programof Sudarshan TV

Prashant Bhushan, the up, Bindaas Bol, which light legal luminary and social activist has shown the mirror to the Judiciary in a reamarkable way. But thats not the whole story. Recently two interventions of the Courts do give a hope that the judiciary is the hope for preserving the democratic values in the osicety. The first one of this was the judgement where the Tabiligi Jamaat members were exonerated from the charges of spreading Corona (Corona Jihad, Corona bomb). The second one is the courts coming to stop the transmission of hte series Bindass Bol by Sudarshan TV. Its Editor Suresh Chavanke in his tweet had announced the relay of the series which aims to expose the UPSC jihad, Bureucracy jihad by Muslims. As per him through a conspiracy the Muslims are infiltrataing (ghuspaith) into our bureaucracy by getting place in the UPSC exam, which will entitle them to become IAS or IPS officers.

Mr. Chavanke through a 45 Second teaser of his serial claimed that Jamia Jihadis will be occupying the prestigious positions of power through this Jihad. Interstingly of the 30 odd candidates who qualified in the exam 16 were Muslims and 14 Hindus. The Jamia Students approached the Court for a stay on this serial, which hte Courts gave on the gounds that htis serial is likely to spread hate in the society. A joint letter of retired Civil Servants, who have served that Indian Government in various capacities point out that they have no poltical affiliation, stated “It is completely perverse to allege that there is a conspiracy to infiltrate Muslim officers into the services, or to use terms like UPSC Jihad or Civil Services Jihad in this connection. These communal and irresponsible statements amount to hate speech and are defamatory of an entire community.”

As such “Muslims make up 3.46 per cent of the country’s 8,417 IAS and IPS officers. Of 292 Muslim officers, 160 are among the 5,862 who had been selected through the Civil Services examinations conducted by the UPSC, while the remaining 132 are among 2,555 who were promoted to the IAS or IPS from the state civil services on the basis of seniority and performance, which is also assessed by the UPSC. (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslims-add-up-to-3-in-ias-ips-list/). The other data is also very revealing. In the 2019 examination, 35 out of 829 selected candidates were Muslims. That comes to 4.22%, whereas their percentage in the population of India, according to the 2011 Census, is described as 14.2%. In the 2018 examination, out of 759 successful candidates ,just 2.64%, or 20, were Muslims. In the 2017 examination, out of 810 successful candidates, 41, that is 5.06%, were Muslims.

Chavnke claims that these candidates are given the option of Arabic studies due to which they are able to compete and succueed. All in all Sudarshan TV and its Chief Chavanke are on a track,where Muslims should not be in any position of power and privilege. This is what their majoritarinaist poltics dictates them to state.

While on one hand, this sees few Muslims, much lees than their percentage in population to come to the bureaucracy, which should be operating on the principles of Indian Constitution, above the narrow considerations of religion, Chavanke and his tribe, who are in abundance, cannot see Muslims having any power and authority. The jaundiced vision of Hindu Nationalists like Chavanake are now introducing a new dimmesnion to the process of national governance.

As such the percentage of Muslims in the Government services is abysmally low. This average of 4% in top jobs matches with around 5-6% of Musims in overall Government jobs. This has a lot to do with the economic and educational status of Muslims, worsened by the insecurity caused by the regular repeated violence against them, manifesting in the form of spectacular acts of violence like Bhivandi, Jalgaon, Bhagalpur, Meerut, malyaana, Mumbai, Muzzafarnager and lately in Delhi.

Various commissions and committees have gone into the issue of proper representation of Muslims into Government jobs. Gopal Singh Commission (1980), Rangnath Mishra Commission and lastly Sachar Committee have given the similar observations that Muslims are grossly under represented in the jobs and their representation in jails is much higher than percentage in jails.

Their poltical plight has also worsened over the years and the representation in the Parliament is on constant decline. Many a Muslim leaders have gone to the extent of saying that any way they have been marginalized at poltical and social level. The need for increasing focus on education has been on the agenda of many a major Muslim groups and many oversees Indian groups of INDian origin also try to promote the educational efforts of Msulim community.

It is paradoxical that Jamia Mila Islamis, which has been targeted by Chavanke ranks among the top Universities of the country. The economic declime of Muslim community, insecurity and ghettoisation have dealt a severe blow on the aspiatrations of Muslims, Muslim youth in particular.

Saeed Mirza’s classic, Salim Lande Pe Mat ro’ (Don’t mourn the plight of Salim Langde’, brilliantly shows the dilemmas of Muslim youth in choosing the path for their future. They realize that getting jobs is so difficult for them as they are Muslims, so why bother so much about education!

With Chavanke’s efforts to introduce a new dimension in the Civil services, the process of communal divide and marginalization of Muslims will only go in the worse direction. There are photographs of him greeting Narendra Modi and AMit Shah from close quarters. The channel is close to RSS ideologically.

This coming on the back of Tabhligis undertaking Coroan Jihad, its is a further terrible move, which needs to be countered. Jihad seems to be the dog whistle to demonise Muslims, land jihad, love jihad, bureaucracy jihad and what have you. Courts by staying this have done a yeomen service to promotin of fraternity, the core value of Indian Constitution. And this example gives the hope that Indian pluralism and diversity has a chance to survive.  


Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / OPED

Scapegoats and Holy Cows :

Ram Puniyani

Media, Police and Tablighi Jamaat in the Times of Covid 19

The spread of Corona Virus in India has been on the upswing despite the measures undertaken by the state. In most parts of India the suffering has been immense. The central Government took up the issue of Covid 19, with great amount of delay. From early February WHO started warning the Governments all around about the impending dangers of the pandemic. That time Indian Government was busy in organizing ‘Namaste Trump’ and the ruling party at Centre was busy with the operation Kamal to overthrow the Congress Government in MP. As The Janata Curfew was declared on 22nnd March and total lockdown on 24th March, the issue started being taken up seriously. To shirk the responsibility of the state, it found a very convenient target. The Tabligi Jamaat’s (TJ) seminar (13-15 March) in Markaz Nijamuddin was blamed for the spread of Corona by the Government and then by the media. Definitely some lapses must have occurred in organizing of the seminar at this time, and a large assembly taking place during a pandemic is inexcusable at one level.

At the same time thousands of people had come to India for the event ‘Namaste Trump’. Nearly two lakh people were exposed to this event. The Temples and Mutt congregations were going on. The TJ people had come to India with due permissions and screenings at airports. Despite all this the move to blame them for spreading Corona just exemplified the mind set and political manoeuvre of the Government. Demonising Tablighis  was to target the whole Muslim Community of country.

The Godi (Lap) Media (or Communal media) went hysteric in proclaiming that Tablighis were deliberately spreading the disease as per the plan. This is their ‘Corona Jihad’ and they are preparing ‘Corona Bomb’ in Markaz, which is at stone’s throw from the police station of the area! The reach of this section of media is astounding. It got picked up and ‘Muslims are deliberately spreading the disease’ became part of the ‘common social understanding’. The impact on the social life was instant. Muslim truck drivers at places had to run away to escape the mobs. The Muslim vegetable vendors were beaten up at places and not permitted in many housing colonies.

After some of these Tablighis were quarantined and admitted to hospitals, it was a heyday for the fake news makers. What started doing rounds was that these Tablighis are making obscene gestures to nurses, are spitting, and are moving in the wards without clothes. All this gave grist to the mill of Islamophobia, already peaking in India. Police promptly went into action and cases were launched against the Tablighis who had come from abroad. The cases filed were under various clauses related to violation of VISA rules, spreading the epidemic, and also preaching Islam.

In couple of judgments on the issue, the role of media and police has come from scathing criticism. The blatant falsehood of FIR’s and the propaganda of section of Media stand exposed. In its judgement the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High court, the observation of the court are remarkably reflecting of the state of affairs of the attitude of police and media towards Muslims. The High Court clearly stated that the action against Tablighis is an attempt to find the scapegoat for the Covid 19. It observes, “, “A political Government tries to find the scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats. The aforesaid circumstances and the latest figures of infection in India show that such action against present petitioners should not have been taken.” And further critiquing the media, the Court observes, “There was big propaganda in print media and electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz Delhi and an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading covid-19 virus in India. There was virtually persecution against these foreigners.”

The judgment should go down as a case study of the attitude of state (police) and media towards its religious minorities in the country as those Muslims who came from aboard for seminars or touring the country were harassed to no end. The Court states, “This action indirectly gave warning to Indian Muslims that action in any form and for any thing can be taken against Muslims. It was indicated that even for keeping contact with Muslims of other countries, action will be taken against them. Thus, there is smell of malice to the action taken against these foreigners and Muslim for their alleged activities. The circumstances like malice are important consideration when relief is claimed of quashing of F.I.R. and the case itself.”

Incidentally as Covid 19 shows us that those who matter and those who spread information are totally biased and look for scapegoats among Muslims, it also shows that there are some who are treated as Holy Cows. In the recent Delhi violence most of those who have been targeted are those who were active in protests against Government in anti CAA-NRC agitations. Those who gave provocative speeches, Desh Ke Gaddaron ko, (Anurag Thakur), There are rapist amongst those participating in the protests (Parvesh Varma) and ‘We will dislodge them physically (Kapil Mishra), are very much moving around while those who talked of peaceful protests are under the scanner.

Similar attitude was also observed in the series of bomb blasts, which shook the country between 2006-2008. Just one example will suffice, in the aftermath of Makkah Masjid blast (Hyderabad) scores of Muslim youth were arrested right away. They were released again by Court for the lack of any credible evidence. In Malegaon blast case ditto, one of the accused in the blast Pragya Thakur is on bail and has become the law maker. In practice what is ruling is the biased attitude, targeting some for their religion and exonerating others, again for their belonging to a particular religion!


Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / OPED