It’s not a new normal to give a massive coverage to any negative news which is linked to Muslim identity. Yes, you’re right, I am talking about overrated, manipulated and much hyped coverage or better say ‘propagated by Islamophobe’ mainstream media on alleged fatwa (which it never was) over Nahid Afrin. The same media which within seconds declares their verdict with the beautiful adjectives of terrorist whenever a suspect with Muslim surname is arrested anywhere in the world. And without any surprise, it’s not only news channels but bollywood and several renowned celebrities who equally prefer to jump the fray and go to any level to shame and defame Muslims. Earlier it was perceived that negative propaganda, lies, and rumors are only spread by politically affiliated people with certain agendas and then only it is followed by news agencies and other media sources. But in this digital world, the equation has reversed significantly. Even ‘trends’ and ‘hashtags’ are enough influencers to motivate institutions like that of Chief minister, to follow the trend without examining the facts.
The whole episode of outrage on alleged ‘fatwa’ against a young brilliant singer Nahid, (whom I am following since her audition in Indian idol 2015), uncovers much inherent hatred towards Muslims. Their assumptions and standards of considering Muslims as backward, less educated, conservative and orthodox, while running and commenting on any news linked to them is always scary. Without any delay news channels were filled with the sensational headlines like ‘Indian Idol Vs Indian Taliban’. Leading the propaganda in print media The Times of India directly linked the event to the ISIS, since ‘Muslims are naturally born terrorists’.
But what’s interesting is that the so called liberal figures, which are compelled to condemn Muslims since they time to time hit Hindutva outfits and to balance that, they have to equally bash Muslims in order to show their so called liberal and secular credentials. The frustration of likes of Paresh Rawal, Ashok Pandit and Taslima Nasreen are well understood but the excitement of liberal champions like Kavita Krishnan and Javed Akhter while jumping in the ‘savior row’ without verifying the facts has really amused people like me.
Let me make it very clear before you label me with your certain presumed tags, I too totally advocate the free speech. In the same manner when one is free to propagate music as a legacy of Sufism then what’s wrong if one holds the opinion of it being un-Islamic? Within democratic space, everyone is supposed to agree or disagree on any issue without inciting violence. But beyond free speech, the entire course is more about the Islamophobic attitude of media agencies and well-dressed individuals who declare their verdict on social sites while sitting on cozy sofas without caring about the damage their two liner judgments do.However, one fascinating fact to be noted while going a bit deeper is the hatred against Muslims is not totally western driven but developed on this land itself. And Love for ‘bad fatwa’ to shame community can also be seen with assimilating medieval history of Muslim rulers and projection of Aurangzeb as a symbol of oppressor against non-Muslims.
Giving more weight to the argument, let me exemplify the debate of repeated physical violence done by Karni Sena on the set of Padmavati and interestingly the frequency of coverage by media as well as the outrage in civil society, which reveals the rest of the truth. People who were not ready to believe the mind of Gurmehar, thus building conspiracies around her notion of ‘free speech’ and her words have now been advocating freedom for Nahid. A Minister like Ravi Shankar who never dared to open mouth for Sanjay Leela Bhansali is coming to the rescue of Nahid. Irony, isn’t it? Isn’t this hilarious when anti-national Kashmiri turns India’s proud and suddenly safety of ‘Bangladeshi Muslim’ becomes a concern for the Sarbananda Sonowal government who came in power to eradicate ‘outsiders’?
However, What better could be expected from this media, which never was developed to put the facts before the audience but to propagate hatred and run agendas of some particular ideology? Although, some media outlets have apologised for running the false concocted and self made stories, but who would pay for the damage done already? And is this simple ‘apology’ enough?
Article firstly appears at Oracle Opinions and written by Anwarul Hod