Days after Islamists ran riots in the Mira Road suburb in the Thane district of Maharashtra, Newslaundry came to their rescue on Saturday (27th January).
In a YouTube video titled ‘Godi media’s u-turn on Ram Mandir | Hypocrisy Ki Seema?’, the leftist media outlet not only whitewashed the Islamist violence against Hindus but dubbed the bulldozer action against the accused as ‘majoritarian revenge.’
“Can one move on when you have another set of people who celebrated January 22nd with an ugly spirit of revenge…This was reaction number two to the Ram Mandir inauguration,” Newslaundry ‘journalist’ Manisha Pande brazened out.
“Two days after the communal clash, 15 shops demolished in Mumbai suburb’s Haidary Chowk area,” the video featured the screenshot of an article by The Indian Express.
This is a classic trope used by leftist media to deviate public discourse from the chronology of events. On 21st January this year, frenzied Muslim mobs attacked Hindus when they were carrying out a procession through the Mira Road suburb.
The incident took place on the eve of the Ram Mandir Pran Prathistha. The Hindu devotees were raising the religious chant of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and had adorned their vehicles with saffron (bhagwa) flags.
This drew the ire of the intolerant ‘minority’, who wasted no time in launching an unprovoked attack on the Hindus. The frenzied Muslim mobs vandalised cars, stomped on saffron flags, manhandled and injured a Hindu woman and assaulted other Hindu men.
All of this happened only because a group of Hindus took out a religious procession through a ‘Muslim area’, a supposedly no-go zone for adherents of other religious communities.
Some miscreants trying to create riot like environment in Mira Road of North Mumbai. They are attacking vehicle carrying Ram Dhwaj @MumbaiPolice @mieknathshinde @CMOMaharashtra @HMOIndia Pl take immediate action 🙏 pic.twitter.com/QvqDS4CrnZ— Ashok Pathak (@AshokPathak_) January 22, 2024
While Islamists are habituated to getting away with their ‘street veto’, the police cracked down on them and arrested 13 men. The city administration also promptly swung into action and bulldozed the illegal encroachments of the accused.
Newslaundry cunningly omitted the entire context and chain of events to dub the bulldozer action as some form of ‘revenge’ by the majority community.
“As communal tensions hit Mira Road in Mumbai, listen to what the MLA Geeta Bharat Jain had to say…”, ‘journalist’ Manisha Pande claimed.
She conveniently glossed over the fact that it was the Islamists who started the violence, thus forcing law enforcement to take matters into their own hands.
Newslaundry ignores attacks on Hindu community
Besides whitewashing Islamist violence in Mira Road, Newslaundry also ignored 17 other cases of targeted attacks on the Hindu community in the wake of Ram Mandir Pran Prathistha.
Hindus in the Chikhli village of Nanded were abused and threatened by Islamists for celebrating the event of Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha at the local temple. The police took cognisance of the matter and booked Aslam Khan and Gaffar Khan in connection to the case.
A bike rally, organised in Navi Mumbai’s Panvel was attacked by a frenzied Muslim mob. One Hindu man was stabbed in the back while another was stabbed in the head.
A mob of over 30 Islamists brutally assaulted a 14-year-old Hindu boy in the Mominpura area in Nagpur. The Gujarat police have informed that they were forced to fire teargas shells after a mob pelted stones at Shobha Yatra Mehsana district.
Similarly, Hindus carrying a procession of Shri Ram were attacked by a Muslim mob in Bhoj in Vadodara. Hindus were also attacked with stones in Bhapura village of Darbhanga district of Bihar.
In Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Islamists pelted stones at Hindus and even attacked them with swords. Attacks on the Hindu community were also reported from Shimoga and Belagavi in Karnataka.
Newslaundry not only refused to acknowledge these incidents but instead tried to guilt-trip Hindus for police action against Islamists in the aftermath of violence.
The dubious narrative of majoritarianism
One of the keywords used frequently by Newslaundry, perhaps to woo their core audience, is ‘majoritarianism’. In the video posted by the leftist propaganda outlet on Saturday (27th January), it left no stone to portray Islamists as the harbingers of peace and reconciliation.
Through its rhetoric and ’emotional appeal’, Newslaundry gave the impression that the violence that broke out in the wake of Ram Mandir Pran Prathistha was the doing of the ‘majority’ Hindu community.
The guilt-tripping did not end with painting Muslims as victims and Hindus as aggressors. ‘Journalist’ Manisha Pande went a step ahead and put the onus of ‘inclusive behaviour’ exclusively on the Hindu community.
“The journey ahead for us as a nation depends on what India chooses between peace, reconciliation, moving ahead or revenge and ugly majoritarian politics,” she ranted.
The two-pronged strategy used by Newslaundry was to deny any wrongdoing against the Hindu community and at the same time ask the victimised lot to be more accommodating of the aggressors.
Iqbal Ansari and the hard truth about reconciliation
Newslaundry propped up the example of Iqbal Ansari, a litigant fighting for the erstwhile disputed structure (Babri Masjid) in the Ram Janmabhoomi case.
He was invited to the Bhoomi Pujan as well as the Pran Prathistha of the Ram Mandir by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra. The leftist propaganda outlet used it as an example of the Muslim community wanting to move forward.
It is interesting to note that Iqbal Ansari was one of the litigants, who were fighting in the court to deny the return of ‘Ram Lalla’ to his Janmabhoomi.
While it is true that Ansari wanted an end to the dispute after losing the case, the credit must go to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra for inviting him to the Bhoomi Pujan and Ram Mandir Pran Prathistha.
It cannot be the other way around as Newslaundry ‘journalist’ Manisha Pande attempted to do desperately. “Moving ahead means respect and accommodation for those who lost the title suit in the Ram temple case. It means inclusion and reaching out,” she had said.
Although Iqbal Ansari has made peace with the verdict of the apex court, countless members of the Muslim community are still vowing for revenge. Some have been arrested for threatening to destroy the majestic Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Inclusion is thus not a one-way street.
The Hindu community has been denied the reclamation of the Ram Janmabhoomi for 496 years. Countless sacrifices, legal battles and prayers of crores of Hindus have gone into realising the dream of the return of Ram Lalla.
When such a glorious moment has arrived for the community to bask in devotion to Lord Ram, mouthing platitudes about inclusivity, reconciliation and moving on only seeks to take the spotlight from the historic Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Featured Image via e-Kendra.
The article was first published in OpIndia on 28th January 2024.