Right-wing news channel fined for calling hijabi students “Al Qaeda gang” - IAMC

Right-wing news channel fined for calling hijabi students “Al Qaeda gang”

India’s News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA), an independent body set up to enforce standards for ethical journalism, slammed right-wing channel News18 for using hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric during its coverage of Karnataka state’s hijab ban case.

Hindu supremacist anchor Aman Chopra repeatedly implied that Muslim students who wear the hijab are terrorists by calling them “Zawahiri gang member” and “Zawahiri’s ambassador,” in reference to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Chopra also claimed falsely that the hijabi students had resorted to rioting. 

News18 fueled Chopra’s hate speech by running graphics that read “#AlQaedaGangExposed” and “Al Qaeda has planned the hijab controversy.”

In response, the NBDSA released a statement slamming News 18, criticizing the fact that Chopra “had not only acted in flagrant disrespect of the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage, but had also failed to abide by the decision of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court… which enjoins an anchor to apply his/her mind and avoid the programme from drifting beyond the permissible limits, including by muting the speaker who flies off the tangent.”

The body warned News18 that if such violations are repeated in future, it will summon Chopra to be held accountable before it. It further directed News18 to take down the video of the offensive program from its website and all platforms within 7 days.

The NBDSA has also slapped News18 with a fine of  50,000, which amounts to around $610.  

BJP’s real agenda is to end Indian diversity, says Muslim political leader

Muslim politician Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pushing Hindu supremacist policies across India and attempting to erase Muslim identity.

“They think they have danger from halal meat, Muslims’ caps, and their beards. They have problems with their food habits. The [BJP] party is actually against Muslim identity,” Owaisi said.

“[Modi’s] words ‘everyone’s support, everyone’s development, and everyone’s trust’ are empty rhetoric. BJP’s real agenda is to end India’s diversity and Muslim identity,” he added.

Under the control of the BJP, India has fallen on Freedom House’s Global Freedom Index from “Free” to only “Partly Free.” India also ranks at number 2 on the list of countries at risk for mass killings of minorities, according to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

Upper-caste Hindu shoots Dalit man, parents to death in Madhya Pradesh

An upper-caste Hindu man, Jagdish Patel, shot a Dalit man and his parents to death in Madhya Pradesh state, sparking outrage over the BJP-ruled state government’s lack of protections for Dalit communities. 

Patel and a mob of men wielding sticks went to the home of 32-year-old Manak Ahirwar, a Dalit, after Patel’s wife alleged that Ahirwar had stalked her. In the ensuing argument, Patel shot and killed Ahirwar and his elderly parents, and injured Ahirwar’s brother to the point of hospitalization.

Opposition leaders in Madhya Pradesh have demanded an investigation into the case as an incident of caste-based violence.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath tweeted, “I demand a high level inquiry into this incident from the government. Strict action should be taken against the culprits.”

“This incident exposes the failure of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh in terms of law and order as well as security of the poor, Dalits, tribals, and women,” tweeted Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati.