By Quamar Ashraf
Several news this week having direct concern with the Muslim community made headlines. Besides articles on Urdu’s future and current state of affairs, several reports raised concern on the reconstitution of the Delhi Urdu Academy’s Governing Council. Instead of filling the body with “unqualified people” having little link with the language, many member got their congratulatory pieces published in different newspapers. Notably, the 21-member Governing Council body got several new faces whose contribution vis a vis Urdu language is known to none. Disappointedly, many news that concern the Urdu readers did not get the require prominence.
The other news items which might have attracted the readers include: Six out of seven post of National Commission for Minorities laying vacant (Inquilab, February 17); slow pace of work in Bihar’s state minorities commission (Inquilab February 16) and Jat-Muslim unity slogan during a Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat (UT, February 21).
Former vice president Hamid Ansari’s interview done by Abdul Bari Masoud was carried out almost half a dozen newspapers. It highlighted state neutrality towards secularism is diminishing. Masoud posed some tough question to Ansari over the latter’s failure to call a spade and spade during an interview to a private TV channel. Besides, he also sought clarification on “sarkari muslamnan remarks”.
If you go to court, you don’t get a verdict
A couple of newspapers carried edits on former CJI and Rajya Sabha MP Justice Ranjan Gagoi’s judiciary in a “ramshackle” remark with considerable seriousness, raising question on the judgements he passed during his tenure. Several national leaders expressed their worries over Gagoi’s statement, “if you go to court, you don’t get a verdict” (RSU, February 17). It triggered “serious concern” with many top leaders expressing disappointment on the statement. Some leaders demanded Gagoi to clearly point out during whose tenure the judiciary turned to such a low. Is it during his tenure or after him? Sahafat edit (February 16) raised several disturbing questions, seeking to know “fairness” on the judgements he passed during his tenure. Notably, as many as five big verdicts, including Babri Masjid, delivered by Justice Gagoi that undoubtedly ‘worked in favour of Modi govt’. The paper carried another edit (February 21) on Supreme Court’s decision to close its suo-motu case to examine alleged conspiracy against the judiciary in the wake of sexual harassment allegations involving Gogoi. Interestingly, the SC panel failed to get electronic records like WhatsApp messages to probe into the conspiracy. The Sahafat edit says, “Possibly 10-20 years from now, someone may expose the impact of sexual harassment allegations in the Ayodhya judgement, but by then it would be too late. Truth loses its significance if not spoke in time, says the edit. Abdul Aziz article (UT February 21) too justifies the suspicion over his judgement delivered in several cases, mainly Babri Masjid and Rafale.
India’s response to global tweets unwarranted
Mostly, Modi government faced criticism for taking too seriously the tweets of global citizens and showing its apathy by making some arrests here, including Disha Ravi. Geelani Khan in his article (Inquilab, February 16) says that the government is wrongly applying laws to suppress voices critical to its policies by misusing laws. The UN charter on human rights has, in fact, called upon the web platforms to see whether rights to freedom of expression is not supressed under the garb of national security. Global criticism of the Modi’s policies has irked the government to the core as it has gone berserk arresting activists endorsing farmers protests, says Siasat editorial (February 16), suggesting the government to review its policies instead of keep smelling international conspiracy all the time.
Tghtening noose on activists
The government is increasingly tightening noose on activists supporting the farmers’ protests. With the arrest of Disha Ravi, the Modi gvot-media has blown up the issue as if the toolkit is a weapon of mass destruction, writes Yamin Ansari in his article in Inquilab (February 17). The repressive method rarely works. Repressive measures rarely address such protests, writes Masoom Moradabadi (Mumbai Urdu Times, February 21) and points out that many anti-CAA protesters have been implicated in Delhi riots cases.
The writer, a media analyst, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org