Currently, there seems to be concerted campaign underway to portray every incident involving a person from the minority community as an assault against the community itself by the ‘communal forces’. This concerted campaign is then used to further the narrative of ‘Dara hua musalman’ (scared Muslim). The latest instance of this is a viral video which claims that a man in Kanpur was compelled to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and upon his refusal to do so, he was beaten up by a “Hindu mob”. As per several fact-checking websites and statements of the police, this has turned out to be completely untrue.
The video in which a man was being beaten up was being widely circulated all over social media, with several prominent journalists talking about it and predictably targeting Hindus. Journalist Saba Naqvi had also tweeted on the incident.
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) July 5, 2019
Along with the journalists and the authors, even the media organizations and reputed publications were following the narrative. In wake of the hue and cry, mainstream media organizations including The Caravan and The Telegraph had published a story in which Mohammad Atib, the poor Muslim youth was allegedly forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and then was beaten up. They leave no stone unturned in their attempts to show that the Hindus are attacking people on religious lines, increasing the discord between the communities.
However, police investigations indicate that this whole tale is a lie, fabricated by few to peddle their own propaganda. According to the fact check by India Today Aaj Tak, the scuffle had happened because Mohammad Atib, an auto driver had refused to let the three youth sit in his auto as they were heavily intoxicated. There was nothing about chanting “Jai Shri Ram”. While this incident itself is illegal and the perpetrators must be dealt with, giving a communal colour to a scuffle is uncalled for. This sort of coverage tends to create a false narrative and is increasing the tensions between the 2 communities. Matters are such that in any incident, in which the 2 groups involved belong to different communities, a communal color is given to the scuffle. The accusation of “forced to chant Jai Shri Ram” is automatically attached to the incident, irrespective of the actual events.
Recently, this was seen in the Gurugram incident as well. A couple of days ago, the social networks and media outlets were abuzz with the news of a Muslim man in Gurgaon, was forced to remove his skull cap and chant “Jai Shri Ram” and was threatened to fed pork, after which, was beaten up by a group of individuals. However, a simple fact check by Network 18 revealed that when the Police examined the CCTV camera footage, which recorded the whole incident, they realised that though the youth was beaten up by a man, his skull cap wasn’t forcibly removed by the perpetrators; it came off in the course of the fight as is expected, and the victim put it back in his pocket. Moreover, as per the FIR registered, the victim wasn’t forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” or threatened to be fed pork.
This is another instance of how a scuffle was given a communal color to demonize the Hindu community. The fabricated narrative by the media organizations, coupled with the extremely active twitterati is increasing the disharmony between the two communities. With every such article or tweet, which aims to sympathise with a Muslim on the basis of a situation that didn’t occur, the media is portraying something which doesn’t exist. All these are plain attempts to manufacture the ‘Dara Hua Musalman’ narrative with lies and propaganda, which, in the long run, is only going to increase the discord between the communities.