Elections for the UP Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held around February 2022. With this, the atmosphere in the state and around India is already getting heated with various forces showing up with their usual political interests. This interest in one such cabal has made them come up with a different role this time- the role of a Ram Bhakt. This has given them the card to both desecrate the name of Rama as well as vilify the Hindus of being Islamophobic simultaneously.
Several cases related to fake allegations about Muslim men being beaten up for not chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ have come up in the past too. These include cases like the murder of Asif Khan in Haryana which in reality was over some personal political rivalry or the horrendous Bhainsa riots in Telangana in May, where it was found that few miscreants from the Muslim community itself wrote ‘Jai Shree Ram’ onto the walls of a mosque with the intention of violence in the area.
This tactic of painting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as a war cry has now been picked up to polarize the upcoming UP elections too. The matter is of a 72-year-old man named Sufi Abdul Samad Saifi being beaten up and harassed by few men including men from the Muslim community over a Talismani Tabeez on 5th June. While the culprits have been arrested by the police, various self-proclaimed fact-checkers curated a theory that the man was beaten up for being a Muslim and that is why his beard was shaved by the goons, whom they very conveniently labelled as the “Hindutva Goons”. They even moved on propagating that the old man was forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ before all this.
RW & Sanghis vomiting on my timeline ‘coz Ghaziabad police named 3 Muslims. Jackasses the prime accused is literally a Pravesh Gujjar. The man is on camera forcing the old man to chant #JaiShriRam
Yes it is a desecration of my God and my religion and I’m ashamed.. as shud you be
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) June 15, 2021
This was mainly initiated by the “fact-checker” Muhammad Zubair from Alt News along with others like Rana Aayub, Saba Naqvi, and the opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi. These people had only a video to be shown as evidence. Nevertheless, the fact that the video was muted along with Zubair, the ‘fact-checker’, himself saying that his theory didn’t match facts makes irony laugh at once. The whole incident has also made CM Yogi Adityanath come out criticizing such blatant lies and misinformation merely for few political points.
— GHAZIABAD POLICE (@ghaziabadpolice) June 14, 2021
प्रभु श्री राम की पहली सीख है-"सत्य बोलना" जो आपने कभी जीवन में किया नहीं।
शर्म आनी चाहिए कि पुलिस द्वारा सच्चाई बताने के बाद भी आप समाज में जहर फैलाने में लगे हैं।
सत्ता के लालच में मानवता को शर्मसार कर रहे हैं। उत्तर प्रदेश की जनता को अपमानित करना, उन्हें बदनाम करना छोड़ दें। pic.twitter.com/FOn0SJLVqP
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) June 15, 2021
Meanwhile, the police have rightfully filed an FIR against those who tried to turn this group conflict over a Talismani Tabeez into a communal one vilifying Hindus, even creating a false parallel between them and the terrorist sympathizers. FIR also has been filed against Twitter for not labelling these tweets as ‘Manipulated’. Along with this, on 17th June, there have also been complaints filed against people like Swara Bhaskar, Twitter India Head- Raheel Khursheed, Congress leaders Salman Nizami and Shama Muhammad, etc. for spreading the fake news at Tilak Marg Police station, New Delhi.
Also, Cabinet Minister at the Center Dr. Ravishankar Prasad has come out criticizing the selective approach of Twitter, which stems from biasness, to address the problem of fake news. In coming times, Twitter might face legal actions if it further delays implementing the Government orders and the newly designed IT Act.
What happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter’s arbitrariness in fighting fake news. While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact checking mechanism, it’s failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 16, 2021
The Upcoming Elections
Many people believe that with the UP election date coming closer, these kinds of incidences would become more frequent with stronger campaigns to peddle propaganda. Aim obviously is to communalize and thus polarize the atmosphere by filling the minds of the minorities with fear and presumptions. Also, it would simultaneously serve the purpose of vilifying the Hindu community portraying it as intolerant and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as communal.
Whatever the reason might be, this is a time that demands the unison of the common people and the government the most. To not let the wasted interests get any scope to destabilize the peace of the state shall be of prime importance. Supporting a political party is our personal choice based on our personal ideologies. However, using these ideologies to break the smooth functioning of a state must not be tolerated. The UP administration shall move on with its FIRs not only to punish the fake-news peddlers but also to probe into the future conundrums that are being planned. Attempts to hijack people’s decisions in elections along with putting the lives of innocents at risk due to probable violence such news can bring must be curbed. After all, democracy demands a sane decision of the people which can be achieved only via awareness and true information- the biggest enemy of the propagandists.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author