Articles by: Dr Abhay Kumar

Bihar Assembly Elections 2020: Media shows bias towards BJP

Bihar Assembly Elections 2020: Media shows bias towards BJP

Several leading newspapers published from Patna appear biased in favour of BJP. In their coverage, they are giving a large share of space to the BJP. Their major focus is the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Several reports have come, singing praises for him. In return, the newspapers are rewarded with big advertisements. For example, several newspapers carried a[Read More…]

by October 25, 2020 India
How media praises RSS Chief Bhagwat’s ‘Muslims-happiest-in-India’ remarks 

How media praises RSS Chief Bhagwat’s ‘Muslims-happiest-in-India’ remarks 

The mainstream media has once failed to critically examine Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement in which he claimed that “the happiest Muslims are indeed those of India” (Sabse adhik sukhi musalman Bharat desh ke hi hain”). Some of them have even published a few articles in praise of Bhagwat and the RSS. Ironically, at the time of[Read More…]

by October 18, 2020 India
TRP racket: How media is reluctant to talk about its own corruption        

TRP racket: How media is reluctant to talk about its own corruption        

  The media, which holds the flag of uprightness, is now reluctant to talk about the dirt defacing its own image. The immediate context is the claim of Mumbai Police that news channels including the Republic TV have indulged in the malpractices of boosting TRP (Television Rating Points). A day after the police allegation, The Telegraph (Kolkata, October 9, 2020, p. 5)[Read More…]

by October 11, 2020 India
Babri demolition case: Media, upholding court verdict, chants ‘Jai Sri Ram’   

Babri demolition case: Media, upholding court verdict, chants ‘Jai Sri Ram’   

Lord Rama, one of the major deities of Hinduism, was born at the very place of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. The mosque was built after the “Muslim invaders” had demolished the Ram Temple. With these historically unsubstantiated narratives, the Hindutva forces, led by the top leaders of the BJP, the VHP and the RSS created frenzied mobs, culminating in[Read More…]

by October 4, 2020 India
Farm Bills: Media depicts opposition as unruly, toes government’s line

Farm Bills: Media depicts opposition as unruly, toes government’s line

  The Farm Bills – which pave the way for private companies to buy farmers’ produce and go for contract-farming- have been vigorously opposed by the opposition parties and the farmers. While covering the issue, the mainstream media, particularly the Hindi press, not only largely ignored the concerns of the opposition parties but also pliantly toed the government’s line. Worse[Read More…]

by September 27, 2020 India
Busy celebrating Modi’s birthday, Media scants job protests and police crackdown

Busy celebrating Modi’s birthday, Media scants job protests and police crackdown

The youth of the country observed the 70th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘National Unemployment Day’ (Rashtriya Berozgari Diwas). The mainstream media, which was busy celebrating Modi’s birth day, not only paid scant heed to the youth unrest against unemployment but also maintained a conspicuous silence on the ensuing police crackdown. While the Hindi dailies prominently covered several[Read More…]

by September 20, 2020 India
Yechury, Yadav, Apoorvanand, Ghosh et al. named in Delhi riots: Media toes police line  

Yechury, Yadav, Apoorvanand, Ghosh et al. named in Delhi riots: Media toes police line  

  The mainstream media – particularly Hindi newspapers – has reproduced the police version while covering the news related to the naming of opposition leaders, activists, scholars in a supplementary chargesheet in the February 2020 Delhi riots. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader and scholar Yogendra Yadav, JNU economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor and social activist Apoorvanand[Read More…]

by September 13, 2020 India
GDP contracts by 23.9%: Media blames Corona, but doesn’t dare question Government

GDP contracts by 23.9%: Media blames Corona, but doesn’t dare question Government

The mainstream newspapers have given very little space to the story of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shirking by the steepest ever 23.9 per cent that it deserves. In their reporting, they have ended up solely blaming the corona pandemic for the steepest decline. Hardly has any newspaper dared to link the sharpest fall in the GDP to the Government’s economic[Read More…]

by September 6, 2020 India
Seven CMs decry assault on federalism: Media dismisses it as party politics

Seven CMs decry assault on federalism: Media dismisses it as party politics

The mainstream media has diluted the concerns of seven chief ministers about an assault on federal structure, misuse of central agencies, financial injustice, etc. Instead, the entire media coverage has reduced the whole issue to party politics and differences over holding medical and engineering entrance exams (JEE-NEET). Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a virtual meeting of these seven chief ministers[Read More…]

by August 30, 2020 India
Men wearing protective masks walk as they carry bags, amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nizamuddin, area of New Delhi, India, March 31,  2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Tablighi Jamaat was made “scapegoat”: Media downplays Bombay High Court ruling

The mainstream media — particularly Hindi newspapers — has again concealed, underreported and suppressed the Bombay High Court ruling. In its Friday judgment, the High Court has said that Tablighi Jamaat was made “scapegoat” during the corona pandemic. It has also quashed the FIR against 29 foreigners and 7 Indian nationals who are associated with the twentieth century Muslim reformist[Read More…]

by August 23, 2020 India
Punjab crisis is the result of “unfinished agenda of Partition”: Jaspal Singh Sidhu

Punjab crisis is the result of “unfinished agenda of Partition”: Jaspal Singh Sidhu

  Veteran journalist and author Jaspal Singh Sidhu has argued that the Punjab crisis of the 19070s and 1980s is the result of “the unfinished agenda of Partition”. Explaining his argument, Sidhu says that the Sikh community in India supported the Congress at the time of Partition, believing the “pledges” of the grand old party. The promises were made that[Read More…]

by August 22, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Media, covering PM Modi’s Independence Day Speech, turns hyper-nationalist 

Media, covering PM Modi’s Independence Day Speech, turns hyper-nationalist 

Several newspapers have struck a hyper-nationalist tone while covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. The highlights of his speech, in the media’s coverage, were his “fitting” reply to “trickster” (chalbaaz) China and warning to Pakistan. Hindi Daily Dainik Jagran (National, August 16, p. 1) sensationally reports the PM’s address. “On 74th[Read More…]

by August 16, 2020 India
Media, instead of faulting PM Modi for Bhoomi pooja, chants Jai Shri Ram 

Media, instead of faulting PM Modi for Bhoomi pooja, chants Jai Shri Ram 

The mainstream media — particularly Hindi newspapers — instead of critiquing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for performing Bhoomi pooja (groundbreaking) of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, is chanting Jai Shri Ram. It has again failed to uphold the constitutional principle of secularism. On August 6, a day after Bhoomi pooja ceremony, almost all Hindi newspapers carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi[Read More…]

by August 9, 2020 India
If Gandhi can feature on UK money, when will non-Brahmin radicals on ours?   

If Gandhi can feature on UK money, when will non-Brahmin radicals on ours?   

Early on Monday morning Telegraph brought us a story that Mahatma Gandhi is all set to become the first non-white to feature on the UK money. The Royal Mint Advisory Committee has taken this decision following a campaign in the UK. The campaign advocates giving space to black, Asian, and ethnic minorities (BAME) on the British money in recognition of their “profound[Read More…]

by August 4, 2020 World
DU Professor Hany Babu’s arrest: Media takes a blinkered view to the issue

DU Professor Hany Babu’s arrest: Media takes a blinkered view to the issue

The media – particularly Hindi newspapers – has taken a blinkered view to the arrest of Delhi University Professor Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil by National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Tuesday, July 28. The 54-year old English Professor is the 12th person to have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. The Elgar Parishad case is related to the Bhima Koregaon[Read More…]

by August 2, 2020 Uncategorized
Amid corona pandemic, media is busy celebrating Ram Temple construction

Amid corona pandemic, media is busy celebrating Ram Temple construction

  Last week the media – particularly Hindi newspapers – prominently covered the news of the construction work of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. At times it appeared that the Ram Temple issue for media was a much bigger issue than the sufferings of people reeling under the corona pandemic. The fact that the media is celebrating the beginning of[Read More…]

by July 26, 2020 India
Minority panel report, faulting police & BJP leaders for Delhi riots, gets a lukewarm media response  

Minority panel report, faulting police & BJP leaders for Delhi riots, gets a lukewarm media response  

  The mainstream media – particularly Hindi newspapers – has downplayed the news about the release of a fact-finding report by Delhi Minorities Commission on February Delhi riots, 2020. Releasing its report on Thursday, the commission has faulted the role of top BJP leaders in giving hateful speeches and inciting the violence. It has also accused the police of inaction[Read More…]

by July 19, 2020 India
Media stoops to a new low: Vikash Dubey encounter is portrayed as “instant justice”

Media stoops to a new low: Vikash Dubey encounter is portrayed as “instant justice”

While covering the encounter of the gangster Vikas Dubey by Uttar Pradesh (UP) police, the mainstream Indian media – particularly Hindi newspapers – appears to have condoned the extra-judicial killing. They have again failed to act as a defender of civil rights. The diseased, Dubey’s, criminal life spanned 30 years. He has been accused of 62 criminal cases. The criminal charges[Read More…]

by July 12, 2020 India
Sharjeel Usmani, another Muslim student leader, falls victim to Hindutva State

Sharjeel Usmani, another Muslim student leader, falls victim to Hindutva State

  Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student leader Sharjeel Usmani has been victimized because of his Muslim identity. A bright youth leader, emerging scholar, and asset of the country as well as the community has been picked up from his house in Azamgarh by the U.P. Police and sent to judicial custody. The media reports suggest that he has been accused[Read More…]

by July 10, 2020 Human Rights
Modi’s visit to Leh: Media uses the occasion to sing his praises

Modi’s visit to Leh: Media uses the occasion to sing his praises

Amid India-China border standoff, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a “surprise” visit to Leh and indirectly referred to China by saying that “the era of expansionism is over”. Making a mountain out of a molehill, the mainstream media used the occasion to indulge in an act of hero-worship. It turned blind to critical questions and concerns raised by the[Read More…]

by July 5, 2020 India
Anti-Muslim mindset: Media underreports the bail granted to Safoora Zargar

Anti-Muslim mindset: Media underreports the bail granted to Safoora Zargar

On Tuesday the Delhi High Court granted bail to anti-CAA activist and Jamia Millia Islamia research scholar Safoora Zargar. The mainstream media – particularly Hindi newspapers – downplays the bail story. This is in sharp contrast to the wider coverage the media gave to other stories than her bail. For example, the media widely covered the stories when she was[Read More…]

by June 28, 2020 India
BJP should answer: When Deendayal Upadhyaya questioned PM Nehru about China conflict, was it a “demoralizing” act?

BJP should answer: When Deendayal Upadhyaya questioned PM Nehru about China conflict, was it a “demoralizing” act?

  If questioning Narendra Modi Government by the opposition parties about the “sensitive” border dispute with China amounts to “demoralizing” the nation and its soldiers, is the ruling BJP ready to apply the same yardstick to its ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya who slammed the Jawaharlal Nehru regime during the Sino-India conflict? In the late 1950s when India-China relations were fast deteriorating,[Read More…]

by June 23, 2020 India
Indo-China Skirmish: Media Fires at China but Opposition isn’t spared either

Indo-China Skirmish: Media Fires at China but Opposition isn’t spared either

For the last few days the criticism of the Indian mainstream media — particularly the Hindi media — has been oscillating between China and the opposition parties. While earlier the media narrative trained guns at China for killing 20 Indian soldiers, the later narrative — synchronizing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s refusal of the Chinese incursion into the Indian side[Read More…]

by June 21, 2020 India
Dip in Indo-Nepal ties: What media hasn’t done & what it can still do

Dip in Indo-Nepal ties: What media hasn’t done & what it can still do

  With India Nepal relations entering a deep freeze, a section of Indian media, particularly Hindi, has turned ultra-nationalist, uncritically toeing the establishment’s line. Ever since Nepal opposed India laying a road on the border and claiming Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani as parts of its territory, the media has failed to analyse the situation critically. Instead of taking the matter[Read More…]

by June 14, 2020 India
Charge sheet against activists makes news but human rights concern doesn’t   

Charge sheet against activists makes news but human rights concern doesn’t   

Do you know that the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights has written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, expressing deep concern about the arrest of activists and intellectuals such as Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde? Are you aware of the fact that Amnesty International (India) has demanded the release of 11 human rights activists who have been jailed[Read More…]

by June 7, 2020 India
George Floyd is strangled in India too

George Floyd is strangled in India too

“I can’t breathe…”. These were the last words of forty-six-year-old black African American George Floyd. He uttered them when he was being strangled to death by the white American police. His “crime” was his accidental birth in a community that is not a white race. Similarly, Dalits, Adivasis, lower castes and minority Muslims get strangled in India. Their “crime” is[Read More…]

by June 4, 2020 India
Tablighi Jamaat and mainstream media: What makes news and what doesn’t!

Tablighi Jamaat and mainstream media: What makes news and what doesn’t!

  Just a week after the nation-wide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, Tablighi Jamaat, a twentieth-century reformist Muslim organisation, was blamed for spreading coronavirus. The national media, particularly Hindi news channels and newspapers, were at the forefront of selling the establishment’s agenda of putting all blame on this organization (read Muslims) for the spread of[Read More…]

by May 31, 2020 India
How have governments fared in fighting Coronavirus? A view from below

How have governments fared in fighting Coronavirus? A view from below

The country-wide lockdown was announced on March 24. Within the four hours of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcing the lockdown, it was to be put in place. A well-known newspaper aptly calls the measure “the most severe step taken anywhere in the war against the coronavirus”. Most of the people had no clue what was going to happen. They were told to[Read More…]

by May 14, 2020 India
Why I feel ashamed of being a journalist

Why I feel ashamed of being a journalist

Since my childhood I wanted to be a journalist. I began my journey with an Urdu newspaper. Some of my first articles were about cricket. I wrote on cricket after watching it on TV and playing it with friends. Soon, I started working as a correspondent from my home town Raxaul. After coming to the field of journalism, I realised[Read More…]

by May 8, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Racism, caste and religious prejudices might increase in post-Corona India

Racism, caste and religious prejudices might increase in post-Corona India

  In the past, pandemics have spread far and wide and have killed many. The deadly coronavirus, similarly, has been causing havoc. It is, however, unique in a sense that it has engulfed almost every part of the world, killing hundreds of people with each passing day. The mighty states of the world appear helpless before this ephemeral virus. The[Read More…]

by May 2, 2020 India
Zafarul Islam Khan welcoming Justice Rajinder Sachar during Golden Jubat India Islamic Culture Centre New Delhi.

Why should we stand with Zafarul Islam Khan?

Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan is the Chairman of Delhi Minority Commission. For a few days he has been a victim of severe attack from the Hindu communal forces as well as a section of media. They are targeting him for posting a tweet. The communal forces have alleged that he had threatened them of taking up the issue of Indian[Read More…]

by April 30, 2020 India
A Critique of Shamsul Islam’s article on Tablighi Jamaat

A Critique of Shamsul Islam’s article on Tablighi Jamaat

Shamsul Islam is a former professor of political science at University of Delhi. He is known in academia as a leftist scholar. Apart from academics, he has also been involved in theatre and other cultural activities. He mostly writes on religious fundamentalism. His work on the RSS has been cited by many scholars. But the discussion here I would like to[Read More…]

by April 18, 2020 India
Why I Stand with Sharjeel Imam

Why I Stand with Sharjeel Imam

My friends advised me to avoid the issue of Sharjeel Imam. They said that it was not the ‘right time’ to show solidarity with him. I know they were concerned about my safety. But how could I ignore the safety of my friend for the sake of mine? My conscience compels me to stand with Sharjeel Imam. Those who have[Read More…]

by January 31, 2020 India
What violates secularism: Ministers, politicians visiting temple or Muslims uttering Allah?

What violates secularism: Ministers, politicians visiting temple or Muslims uttering Allah?

  It was late in the evening inside JNU campus. Two Muslim students were engaged in a fierce debate. Close to them were standing two girls and a boy. They were silent and holding placards against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.   Tharoor was already late by several hours. But the students were patiently waiting for him. Even the cold wind[Read More…]

by January 14, 2020 India
 SC Verdict on Ayodhya: My Conscience Does Not Allow Me to Celebrate It

 SC Verdict on Ayodhya: My Conscience Does Not Allow Me to Celebrate It

What if the Ram temple were demolished on December 6, 1992 instead of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya? Do you think the Supreme Court judgment would have been the same? Do you think the demolished structure would have been given to the party that was involved in razing it to the ground or supporting its demolition? These questions are unlikely[Read More…]

by November 10, 2019 India
What explains Modi’s second term and what is to be done?

What explains Modi’s second term and what is to be done?

Hours before the beginning of the counting of the General Elections 2019, my article published in a Urdu daily. Here I argued that the prediction of the exit polls survey would not match the final result. But as things stand now, Narendra Modi-led BJP is likely to better its own big performance of the 2014. My prediction was proven wrong.[Read More…]

by May 24, 2019 India
Unethical Journalism

Unethical Journalism

 Early morning on Friday,  I was eagerly waiting to read ‘Dastavez’ published in “Roznama Rashtriya Sahara”, Urdu. I was shocked to find a sentence added to my original draft in the published copy, calling surgical strike ” necessary” Dastavez is published every week on Friday in almost all editions of Roznama Rashtriya Sahara. For last one year, I have quite[Read More…]

by March 2, 2019 South Asia
Is AMU “anti-national”? Those who say so don’t know its history

Is AMU “anti-national”? Those who say so don’t know its history

Normalcy at the historic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is yet to be restored. Like yours, my heart also trembles at the latest bolt of lightning that has struck AMU. Around 14 students, including the former and current office-bearers of AMU Students’ Union, have been booked under sedition charges. In the FIR filed on Wednesday, it is alleged that they had[Read More…]

by February 19, 2019 Communal Harmony
Ex-JNU Scholar and Deputy Registrar Atif Rabbani attacked in Muzaffarpur

Ex-JNU Scholar and Deputy Registrar Atif Rabbani attacked in Muzaffarpur

My JNU friend Atif Rabbani has been beaten up in Muzaffarpur town, Bihar. As the information has reached us so far, the attack on him took place on Saturday. He has sustained injuries. But he is said to be safe. Saturday’s attack is seen as a fallout of an earlier incident of misbehavior and intimidation. Last week, some persons, collecting[Read More…]

by February 10, 2019 Human Rights
How not to pay homage to Maulana Azad

How not to pay homage to Maulana Azad

  On November 11, 1888 Abul Kalam, better known as Maulana Azad, was born in Mecca and two years later his father came to Calcutta to consult a surgeon. Since then his family never went back and stayed in India. It is here that Maulana Azad was educated in traditional knowledge. He never went to any university and did not[Read More…]

by November 7, 2018 Communal Harmony
The gross social injustice of JNU’s new admission policy

The gross social injustice of JNU’s new admission policy

Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led regime took charge of Jawaharlal Nehru University by appointing M. Jagadesh Kumar as its new vice-chancellor, it has demonized this prestigious university as a “den of anti-nationals”. Other Hindutva blows included attempts to dismantle its secular and progressive character, accelerate the already ongoing privatization and scuttle the already shrinking democratic and dissenting spaces. Moreover,[Read More…]

by April 5, 2018 India
This is the latest ABVP’s poster put up on the wall of SIS building (new) of JNU with the portrait of Dr. Ambedkar. The poster qoutes him without mentioning the reference as saying that if Dalits convert to Islam or Christianity, it will “denationalize them”. Photo: Samim Asgor Ali

Hindu Right, Ambedkar And JNU Politics

The ABVP activists are hopeful that their “achievement” of having the library renamed after Dr Ambedkar will help them woo lower-caste students, particularly Dalits. With the JNUSU elections approaching, the Hindutva organization is desperate to broaden its social base by such acts of appropriation and tokenism This is the latest ABVP’s poster put up on the wall of SIS building[Read More…]

by August 27, 2016 Annihilate Caste