How Sudhir Chaudhry And A Toxic Media Turned Delhi Unsafe For Muslims
“Salman Rashid, a known travelogue writer, used to tell us that lazy journalists watch Zee TV instead of reading books in Lahore Press Club.” This was the prompt reply to me by an editorial writer when I told him that the Pakistani press is presenting the case of ZeeNews editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary!
We watch BBC and CNN for news but we conveniently ignore Indian news media. Bollywood and entertainment media, however, are a different story. This is why some of us may not be able to tell Zee TV from ZeeNews.
Chaudhary has been booked under Section 295A of Indian law for hate-mongering against Muslims in his Daily News and Analysis (DNA) show that, at best, is a monologue.
Monologues on TV suggest an intense sense of insecurity breeding in the host. In most cases, hosts of such shows are over-ambitious and hot-heads.
Being a long observer of his show, I would agree with many other observers that it, basically, is the DNA of Modi’s fascism. In their unholy haste to roll back what India had always been, Modi’s favored disciples like Chaudhary have put their own country into the fires of their hatred that, actually, was the cause of their historic losses.
It seems they have learned nothing from history or from the neighbour they hate the most.
When the Indian state would rise to stop the rot, it would be too late. Much as controlling religious and racial terrorists as hard as it is initially easier for the state to produce them.
Chaudhary and his ZeeNews are the main culprits in making New Delhi unsafe for Muslims, through the recent riots in which tens have been killed and hundreds displaced in disgrace.
I was regularly observing this channel and was at a loss to understand as to when its performers would call themselves journalists. Muslims were cut down with the law enforcers helping the rioters. The international media was relating horrendous tales of a brother being killed before the helpless eyes of his brother. People had fled, leaving their houses unbolted, with no hope of a return ever. But Chaudhary and his ZeeNews team was fixed on the house of Tahir Hussain, a Muslim businessman and local politician. The house was shown over a hundred times to Indian viewers in connection with killing of a security official Angit Sharma.
Then Chaudhary turned his guns on Tableeghi jamaat, holding them directly accountable for the spread of Coronavirus in India. Objectively, Tableeghis could not be singled out as Sikh pilgrims, too, were a cause of spread of this disease in 20 districts of Indian Punjab – and Hindu pilgrims were having their well-attended festivals in all parts of India.
His programs are so provocative that it seems that sometimes our prime minister tweets in reply, not to speak of the impact that they leave on Hindu extremists.
Chaudhary was meticulous about making sure that his audience heard the Azaan from the ruins of New Delhi during his programs on the riots.
He has been booked for equating any kind of presence of Muslims with jihad. Ironically enough, Gavas, the complainant against Chaudhary who pointed out his hate-mongering, does not belong to any Muslim group. Rather, he is a member of the Communist Party.
Now it is Hindus vs Muslims but soon it is going to be Hindus vs Hindus in India – as Sudhir Chaudhary thinks that this FIR is a Pulitzer Prize for him.
Hassan Shahzad teaches media at public and private universities and regularly writes for Islamabad pages of The News. He holds a PhD in media studies.