The Urdu Press in Bharat has a profound impact on building a narrative for the Islamic world, including Bharatiya Muslims. For instance, recent editions of all the Urdu dailies of Bharat and Pakistan media extensively covered the Anti-CAA riots in the national capital Delhi which claimed 53 lives so far. Several Urdu dailies had editorials on the Delhi violence - and how Delhi is embarrassed at such heinous nature of events. We are introducing a new column to decode the stories in the Urdu Press:
SHRI RAM SHAW
Akhbar-e-Mashriq (published from Kolkata & Delhi), on March 8, flayed the BJP-led government at the Centre for imposing a 48-hour ban on two Malayalam channels – Asianet News and MediaOne in connection with the Delhi violence. The report says that the government has initiated an act of revenge in the entire country against those who have launched a movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR). “It has revived the memory of emergency,” the paper said in its editorial. The newspaper also published a special issue “Guldasta” on March 8 titled, “Delhi toh bas ek bahana hai, BJP ko Apna agenda har haal me manwana hai.” There were two other exclusive articles titled – “Hindustan! Inteha pasandi ka Coronavirus” (By Arundhati Roy) and “Insaani Jaan ka Nahi koi mol” (No value of human life).
Inquilab, (published from Mumbai & Delhi), on March 8, published an article titled, “Delhi riot is not a coincidence, it’s a declared one”. The article written by Dr Mushtaque Ahmed, says, “This riot has proved that it can now be a declared one and our administration can remain a mute spectator. The loss of lives and properties of the two communities is not only their personal loss, but it is a great loss of the country”. The write up at least take cognisance that both the communities have suffered and ultimately it will impact the national progress.
The paper on February 28, in its editorial titled, ‘Delhi violence and mooh-taakti police - who is responsible?’, wrote - “It is surprising that this murderous display of hate took place when the world’s most powerful person, US President Donald Trump, was present in India with his family”. The paper also alleges that the police is protecting the masterminds instead of arresting them without mentioning who are they.
Munsif, (published from Hyderabad), on February 26, in its editorial wrote, “Home Minister Amit Shah speaks of controlling the situation fully, but the question is, why was this allowed to happen? Many questions keep the BJP in the dock.”
Siasat, (published from Hyderabad), on February 26, in its editorial wrote, “Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should have been seen at violence-ridden spots, taking stock of the partisan role of the police. But he limited himself to tweets. The elected leader’s silence is very sad…In UP we saw compensation being charged for property damage, but here there’s been nothing for so much burnt public property”.
Urdu newspapers in Pakistan also carried articles on the violence in Delhi on their front pages. The newspaper Khabrein wrote, “Houses and mosques of Muslims burnt; Modi’s goons get a free pass.” An editorial in Dawn said that India’s “much-trumpeted claims of being a secular republic have been thoroughly exposed as the storm troopers of the Sangh Parivar have rampaged through New Delhi.” The Express Tribune had the headline – “Saffron mobs run amok in Delhi”. Interestingly, the issues picked up and played in the Urdu Press of Bharat are not very different from the narratives that are being pushed from Pakistan.