Indian media to rely on Hindu militant-backed news agency - IAMC

Indian media outlets to rely only on Hindu militant-backed news agency

India’s public broadcasting corporation Prasar Bharati will now entirely rely on a news agency backed by the violent Hindu paramilitary outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for its daily news feeds.

Prasar Bharati, which runs public service broadcaster Doordarshan and All India Radio, signed an exclusive contract with the RSS-backed news agency Hindusthan Samachar – around two years after it canceled its subscription with the Press Trust of India (PTI), India’s largest and oldest professional news agency.

Hindusthan Samachar was founded in 1948 by RSS ideologue M.S. Golwalkar, who is known for praising Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, along with Shivram Shankar Apte, a senior RSS member and co-founder of the Hindu militant group Vishwa Hindu Parishad. 

Since the Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power, Hindusthan Samachar has been a regular beneficiary of government advertisements.

The move to remove PTI – which has the largest network of reporters and photographers in the country – as the primary news agency and replace it with the little-known Hindusthan Samachar indicates that the government planning to give a broader leg up to private right-wing media outlets.

Reports about the new deal saw backlash from opposition leaders who have called it “an attempt to saffronize news and silence dissent.”

Over 9000 Muslim voters’ names removed from list in BJP-ruled Karnataka state

Names of 9,159 Muslim voters in a Muslim-majority constituency in BJP-ruled Karnataka’s Bengaluru city have been removed from the voters’ list, in violation of the norm that deletions cannot be made in the last six months of an election. 

This removal was done based on a complaint filed by a private agency linked to the Hindu supremacist BJP government. 

The BJP-linked agency prepared a list of 26,000 voters after collecting the data illegally and falsely claimed that the 26,000 voters have either shifted from that place or are dead. The officials removed 9,159 voters from the 26,000 list. 

However, reports say that many out of 9,159 are alive and living at the same old addresses.

The move is the latest in the BJP’s ongoing attempt to strip Muslims throughout India of their rights to vote and maintain citizenship.

Internet suspended after protests against Hindu militants’ lynching of Muslim men 

The Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Haryana state government has suspended mobile internet, SMS services, and all dongle mobile internet services except voice calls, two days after protests demanding justice for two lynched Muslim men took place in the region.

Protests erupted after two Muslim men, Junaid and Nasir were brutally attacked by Hindu militants and burned alive over false suspicions of cow theft.

The internet suspension order will be in place till 11.59 pm on February 28, in the Nuh district. However, no such restrictions were placed on Hindu supremacists who publicly rallied in support of the murderers and threatened police not to investigate a local Hindu militant leader.