Skip to main content

How false narrative was woven around Tablighi attendees as source of pandemic

A twitter handle, calling itself Indian Rwanda Radio, @IND_RwandaRadio, which claims to record evidence and examples of Indian professional media organizations allegedly engaged in what it calls "genocidal Rwanda Radio script”, has, in a series of tweets, pointed towards how nearly a year ago Muslims were sought to be blamed for spreading coronavirus. The tweets, shared on the social media, seek to expose prominent media houses for this, even as giving screenshots from electronic media which tried to send a communal message by blaming Tablighi Jamaat.
Read on the twitter threat, converted into text:
***
Nearly a year ago, the Tablighi Jamaat controversy took over India’s media. Around 3,500 foreign nationals had visited India to attend the Tablighi Jamaat event at the Nizamuddin Markaz Mosque in Delhi. With the lockdown being announced on March 24, 2020, several attendees had moved to different parts of the country to attend smaller gatherings in local mosques.
Around 960 foreign nationals were held at quarantine and in states like UP, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka, etc. were sent straight to prison. There was an outpour of Anti-Muslim bigotry in much of Indian news media with this event where it ramped up its demonisation of the community.
For weeks, the attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event were named the “super-spreaders” of COVID and in several cases, Maulana Mohammad Saad was called a terrorist and “the maulana of death”.
The Tablighis were bigotedly and unjustifiably blamed for aggravating the COVID situation in the country leading to egregious effects on many Muslims across the country.
On March 31 2020 during his news time show called “Bindaas Bol” Suresh Chavhanke of Sudharshan News called the Tablighis “human bombs carrying coronavirus” and proclaimed that what they did was, in fact, “corona jihad”.
OpIndia wrote several articles on how the attendees of the event had engaged in unlawful and unethical behaviour by spitting on people, attacking doctors and nurses, etc. All of these reports were later fact-checked as being fake news formulated to criminalise Muslims.
On his show, DNA, Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary, accused the Tablighi Jamaat of lying and betraying the whole nation. He also tweeted aerial images and videos of the Nizamuddin Markaz
Mosque by making it look like the prime source of COVID cases in India.
Arnab Goswami of Republic TV asked whether this event was a conspiracy to turn Delhi into Italy and questioned the loyalty of the attendees to the nation.
Zee News came back into its communal frenzy on April 2 2020 when Aman Chopra, during his show Taal Thok Ke, crafted a new form of Jihad known as “spitting Jihad” which was aimed at targeting the attendees of the event.
Rahul Kanwal’s infamous sting on India Today, a channel that normally postures itself to be liberal, accused two Madarassas in Delhi in Noida of hiding their children in violation of lockdown and linking their teachers to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
He called this special investigation “The Madrassa Hotspot”. India Today also published a poster to analyse the COVID statistics in the country which was evidently loaded with communal symbols meant to demonize Muslims.
It’s nearly been a year since the media trail of the Tablighi Jamaat. Using the discourse of "COVID nationalism" dominant across the globe with a twist of home-grown Hindutva-oriented Islamophobia, this media trial went on for months.
Countrywide, there were cases of Muslims facing discrimination at the hands of their neighbours and government officials because of the numerous communally hate-filled stings and reports by the Indian Media.
In December 2020, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg acquitted the 36 remaining foreigners from 14 countries of all charges in the case which involved Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, Sections 51/58 (1) of Disaster Management Act, 2005, and Sections 188/269 of the Indian Penal Code.
A year on, in terms of the prejudiced origin stories of COVID in the country, not much has changed. Several media houses still stand by their narratives that the Tablighi Jamaat attendees were the source of the pandemic in the country.
Large-scale damage has already been done.

Comments

TRENDING

Hold your breath! UK ex-Muslims to celebrate Blasphemy Day on September 30

Soheil Arabi The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), in a suprise move, has decided to observe September 30 as the Blasphemy Day. In an email alert, Maryam Namazie, CEMB spokesperson, has asked anyone interested to join CEMB in celebrating blasphemy by " uploading your photo into our #blasphemyday frame and sharing on social media."

What this veteran Gandhian witnessed at Rajghat is indeed intensely disturbing

Renowned Gandhian, activist and physicist Professor VK Tripathi witnessed an “intensely worrisome” event at the Gandhi Samadhi on his birthday on October 2, 2021. “The children of the Hindutva criminals who assassinated him have captured places which are supposed to keep Gandhiji's heritage alive”, says Deepak Joshi in a Faceook post, insisting, “We should strongly protest against it. It is already too late.”

Forthcoming book explodes Western myth: Personal qualities are biologically inherited

Jonathan Latham, PhD, Executive Director, The Bioscience Resource Project, New York, has said in an email alert via JanVikalp that his forthcoming book about genetics and genetic determinism, provisionally titled "The Myth of The Master Molecule: DNA and the Social Order" criticises the notion that personal qualities are biologically inherited: *** The contention of the book is that the key organising principle of Western thought is the seemingly innocuous and seemingly simple idea that our personal qualities are biologically inherited. That is, our character derives from our ancestors rather than being an always-adapting product of our own experiences, decisions, and education. The book makes the case, first, that genetic determinism is a scientific fallacy. Organisms are self-organised systems and therefore are not genetically determined. Second, the explanation for the myth, which predates Mesopotamian cities of 6,000 years ago, is its utility. Genetic determinism rationa

International Energy Agency floats new plan to end oil, gas, and coal expansion

In major shift, International Energy Agency (IEA)’s World Energy Outlook has mainstreamed 1.5°C pathway, showing need to end oil, gas, and coal expansion, insisting on new fossil fuel phase-out benchmarks in order to test government ambition ahead of COP26. A report by Oil Change International, distributed by BankTrack: *** For the first time, the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s flagship annual report on global energy pathways, used worldwide to influence trillions of dollars in investment, details an achievable roadmap to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C). By making a 1.5°C scenario the benchmark of this year’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), the IEA challenges governments and companies to back up lagging Paris pledges with immediate action to shift the energy system away from fossil fuels. Notably, this year’s WEO solidifies the policy conclusion, first presented by the IEA in May , that no new oil, gas, and coal extraction projects should be approved under a 1.5°C-

Gujarat cadre woman IAS official who objected to Modi remark on sleeveless blouse

By Rajiv Shah Two days back, a veteran journalist based in Patna, previously with the Times of India, Ahmedabad, phoned me up to inform me that he had a sad news: Swarnakanta Varma, a retired Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat, who was acting chief secretary on the dastardly Godhra train burning day, February 27, 2002, which triggered one of the worst ever communal riots in Gujarat, has passed away due to Covid. “I have been informed about this from a friend in Jaipur, where she breathed her last”, Law Kumar Mishra said.

Known to have assissinated O'Dwyer, Udham Singh chose not to apologise to the British

Udham Singh (26 December 1899 – 31 July 1940), best known for assassinating Michael O'Dwyer , the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India , on 13 March 1940, done in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919, for which O'Dwyer was responsible, was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. While in custody, he used the name Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represents the three major religions of India and his anti-colonial sentiment. Writes a well-known analyst, "He too could have apologised. He chose the noose instead!" Udham Singh's speech prior to sentencing in UK: *** “I say down with British Imperialism. You say India do not have peace. We have only slavery Generations of so called civilisation has brought us everything filthy and degenerating. known to the human race. All you have to do is read your own history. If you have any human decency about you, you should die with shame. The brutality and blood

Diaspora protest as Biden failed to publicly address persecution of minorities in India

As Modi addressed UN, human rights groups decried “monstrosity” of persecution of Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other minorities in India. Demonstrators gathered outside UN to protest fascism, hate campaigns, weaponized rape, apartheid, lynchings, unlawful arrests, attacks on the media, and other abuses in India: A report distributed by the diaspora group Hindus for Human Rights: *** While observers said it was “shameful” that President Biden failed to publicly address widespread persecution of religious minorities in India when he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, more than 100 members of interfaith and human rights groups spoke out as Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Speakers condemned the egregious human rights violations and murders of religious minorities in India under a government that openly supports Hindu supremacy. The rally was sponsored by 21 organizations, including Ambedkar International Center, Ambedkar King S

Indian Doctors for Truth want Modi to stop overzealous universal vaccination drive

At a time when there is a huge demand to ensure that vaccination should be universal in order to gain immunity against the pandemic, an organisation called Indian Doctors for Truth, have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “urgent need to stop the overzealous universal vaccination drive against Covid-19.  Read the letter, signed by 18 doctors and a health expert: ***

Non-entity 6 yrs ago, Indian state turned Fr Stan into world class human rights defender

Jharkhand's Adivasi women  By Rajiv Shah A lot is being written on Father Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest who is known more for his work for tribal rights in Jharkhand. His death at the age of 84, even when he was an under trial prisoner for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence three years go, has, not without reason, evoked sharp reaction, not just in India but across the world.

Ex-official: Why not offer Vaishnaw loss making BSNL, Air India to prove his worth?

By Rajiv Shah A senior chartered accountant, whom I have known intimately (I am not naming him, as I don’t have his permission), has forwarded me an Indian Express (IE) story (July 18), “Ashwini Vaishnaw: The man in the chair”, which, he says, “contradicts” the blog (July 17), "Will Vaishnaw, close to Modi since Vajpayee days, ever be turnaround man for Railways?" I had written a day earlier and forwarded it to many of my friends.