Kerala High Court Upholds Ban On Muslim-Owned News Channel That Criticized Modi Government - IAMC

Kerala High Court Upholds Ban On Muslim-Owned News Channel That Criticized Modi Government

The Kerala state High Court has upheld a government-ordered ban on popular Muslim-owned news channel MediaOne TV, which was shut down on January 31 by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). The I&B Ministry had cited vague “security concerns” to justify its shutdown, despite the fact that the channel has won many awards and accolades, including from the State Government. Managing editor C. Dawood has said that the ban was a response to MediaOne’s critical coverage of the Modi government and its affiliated Hindu supremacist organizations, including the paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

In upholding the ban, the court stated, “Certain aspects relating to the security of the State are mentioned to the effect that [MediaOne] has some linkages with certain undesirable forces, which is stated to be a security threat.’’

However, a number of Kerala parliamentarians have repeatedly slammed the ban as being a “gravely undemocratic” attempt by the BJP at “silencing differing and disagreeing voices,” which sets a precedent for banning even more media channels in the future.  

In response to the verdict, Media One TV said they would move an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Former Turkish Airlines Chairman Rejects Position As Air India CEO After Hindu Extremist Backlash 

Hindu supremacists affiliated with the BJP and RSS forced Turkish national Ilker Ayci to decline an offered position as Air India’s new CEO, who implied that Hindu extremist backlash labeling him as a threat to national security was the reason for his decision. Ayci was an adviser in 1994 to Erdogan, who was then the mayor of Istanbul. Hindu extremists have latched onto this information, bashing Ayci through anti-Muslim and other bigoted remarks.

“This is a matter of national security,” said Ashwani Mahajan, a convener of the Hindu supremacist group Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), which is affiliated with the BJP and the RSS. “His links with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current President of Turkey, is a matter of concern and must be thoroughly checked before arriving at a decision.”

In response to the backlash, Ayci stated that since the announcement of his appointment, he had been “following news in some sections of the media” that were “attempting to color my appointment with undesirable colors.”

“As a business leader who has always prioritized professional credo … I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honorable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such a narrative,” Ayci said.

Hindu Extremist Mob Assaults Christian Pastor Over Alleged Forced Conversions In Delhi

Kelom Kalyan Tet, a Christian pastor, has reported that he was assaulted on February 25 in Delhi by a Hindu extremist mob who brutally beat him, robbed him of his phone and Bible, and forced him to chant Hindu religious slogans. After beating him till he bled from the nose and mouth, the extremists then tied Tet up with rope and forced him into a car to take him to the police station, where they wanted to file baseless charges of forced conversion against him. 

“They took me to… [a] crossroad, where they tied both my hands to the divider of the road and started inciting people by saying I had come to do forceful religious conversions,” Tet reported. “They were hitting my head constantly, and also attacking my chest and stomach.”

Despite the brutality of the attack, none of the Hindu extremists in the mob have been arrested. 

“I hoped going to the police station would lead to something, [but] they have not even registered a [report] yet,” he said. “These things should not happen. Why was I assaulted?”

Anti-Christian attacks have skyrocketed in India as Hindu extremists continue to spread false narratives about Christians converting Hindus by force to Christianity. Anti-conversion laws passed in several states allow Hindu extremists to attack and arrest Christians on baseless claims of forced conversion, with no consequences for the extremists. 

Sister of Slain Hindu Extremist Harsha Forced To Take Anti-Muslim Oath

Ashwini, the sister of a Hindu extremist named Harsha who was found stabbed to death in Karnataka state by unknown individuals, was forced to take an anti-Muslim oath by other Hindu extremists at Harsha’s memorial service. In a viral video, Ashwini can be seen crying and repeatedly pulling her hand back as a group of Hindu extremists pledged to boycott Muslim-owned businesses, folding her hands to pray instead. Ashwini had previously called for peace between Hindus and Muslims, blaming the Hindu extremist ideology for her brother’s death. 

“For going on about Hindu and Hindutva (Hindu supremacism), my younger brother is lying in this state. I am asking all my brothers with folded hands, whether you are Muslim or Hindu, be good children to your parents and do not get into all of this,” she previously told the media.  

Harsha was a member of the dangerous Hindu extremist group Bajrang Dal, whose members have been responsible for multiple cases of anti-Muslim riots, attacks and murders. Harsha himself had a criminal record that included complicity in an attack against Muslim traders in Karnataka. Last week, after Harsh’s killing, a mob of around 300 Hindu extremists stormed a Muslim neighborhood, torching property and desecrating places of worship.