Media glosses over hate speech by Akbaruddin Owaisi


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8 Jan 2013

 
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For media, some hate speeches are worse than others On January 5, the Deputy Editor of CNN-IBN tweeted this:

Disappointed and shocked as I am by Akbaruddin’s comments, can’t imagine Asad ever speaking in same vein..

Given the frenzied speed at which our TV media reacts and reports to news, one would assume that Akbaruddin made some comments on January 3 or 4. We will come to Asaduddin (or Asad as he is referred to) later in this article.

But the Group Editor of NDTV, Barkha Dutt tweeted this on January 2:

Criminal case filed against owaisi for hate speech. Inflammatory language needs to be condemned & coerced out of the political lexicon

Let me make the same argument again — given the speed with which our TV media reacts and reports to news, one would assume that the hate speech in question was made a couple of days before January 2.

On January 1, Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted this:

Have seen akbar owaisi speech video. It is shocking. Hearing in andhra court tomorrow. We will keep an eye on it.

And as promised, he kept on eye on it.

Case against Akbar Owaisi for hate speech finally admitted in Andhra court. Should have happened much earlier.

Now what caught my attention is the ‘much earlier’ part — what exactly did he mean by ‘much earlier’? Did he mean the case should have been admitted ‘much earlier’ than January 2? That was not possible, since the petitioner filed the case only on December 28 and the earliest date that the court could have posted was January 2. Or did he mean that police should have filed a case ‘much earlier’? If so, why was this not reported ‘much earlier’ so that there would have been pressure on the police to act?

We are being very abstract about ‘much earlier’. Let’s get down to some actual dates.

It’s been a season of hate speeches for Andhra Pradesh politician Akbaruddin Owaisi, who belongs to the MIM or Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. And after months of appearing to get away with it, Mr Owaisi is finally being held accountable.

No, those are not my observations. This was picked up from this NDTV article. “After months of appearing to get away“. Months! “A season of hate speeches…” Season!

How many reports have you seen in the ‘national’ media about this “season of hate speeches”? Can you remotely recollect even a single report during the months that he “appeared to get away”?

The same NDTV article goes on to tell us that two provocative speeches were made — one on the December 8, and the other on the December 24. It was only after social media started posting the videos of his speeches, and bombarded the ‘national’ media with why this was not being covered, did these channels start taking note of it.

The Youtube videos were uploaded not by users, but by a channel called 4TV. One might argue that 4TV is a nondescript channel, so who cares? This Hindu report last Sunday tells us very clearly that the 4TV channel is a definite hit amongst the citizens of the old city of Hyderabad.

So here we have a ‘hit channel’ airing provocative, communal, anti-national speeches of the floor leader of the MIM party, Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi. Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi is not a mere foot soldier of the MIM — he is the floor leader of the party in the State Assembly. His elder brother, Asaduddin Owaisi (some call him Asad, some call him Owaisi saab) is the President of this party. And despite this happening for ‘months’, none of the ‘national’ channels thought it fit to air them.

And once NDTV decided to talk about the speech, this is how they described it — “alleged hate speech“. Alleged? The full version is still available on Youtube. For a full one hour, Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi spewed venom — sample this two minute bit where he challenges the Government to remove police for 15 minutes and then 25 crore Muslims will show 100 crore Hindus who is more courageous! He justifies earlier violent acts, derides Hindu Gods, threatens violence. For NDTV, all this is “alleged” hate speech! Even more disturbing is the applause he keeps getting from the large audience assembled there!

Akbaruddin Owaisi returned from London, and has filed a counter petition in the court saying that his speech was twisted, not aired in its entirety. Sagarika Ghose told us that she can never imagine “Asad talking in the same vein.” Asad gave a speech recently (full speech here) — he did NOT agree what his brother did was wrong. He called the whole police case a ‘conspiracy’ by the Congress Government and the BJP. He directly questioned whether the Congress would have done the same thing if MIM were still supporting it! So much for “never imagining Asad talking in the same vein”!

Not one MIM leader has come out and said that what Akbaruddin Owaisi said was wrong. Every single one of them is calling it a ‘conspiracy’ even when direct proof is available of the multiple communal, anti-national speeches!

Contrast this with the speedy response on anything related to, say, the RSS. Within hours, mere sound bytes are edited and doctored to suit an agenda that is imposed on the viewer non-stop. Mohan Bhawat made a statement on Friday morning and within the next couple of hours, a modified version of it was all over the news. Saturday morning he made another statement, within hours another doctored video was put out, lectures were reeled out and issues were diverted. This news laundry link summarises the whole issue succintly.

As someone tweeted, 8 tweets in 8 hours on RSS, 0 tweets in 8 days on Owaisi! And no tweet was in isolation – they all had to come with a rider. “Owaisi is wrong, so is Togadia“. “Owaisi is wrong, so are some people on twitter.” — it still beats us why such riders have to be given in the first place! If Togadia were to give a similar speech in some remote corner of the country with just one video recording, would these channels have taken so long to air them?

Headlines Today was the only news channel that immediately picked up this hate speech, once alerted. It was only Niti Central, that has consistently warned about the Owaisi clan’s hate speeches. A series of articles since August 2012 (1234) have brought to the fore their dangerous thoughts. The “series of speeches” (including those in Parliament) that NDTV has referred to can be found on NitiCentral here.

No comment on hate speech is complete without Barkha Dutt comparing it to “hate speech” on twitter.

Hate speech is abhorrent; no Ifs or buts. Owaisi needs to come back & face the music. And some folk on Twitter need a mouth rinse as well

PS: It has to be noted that the AP Police haven’t exactly done a good job either, that discussion is for another post. Also, even though the media is now actively following up the case, it is no justification for their ignoring this bile for past several months.

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  • manish

    A good job.
    You, infact, have given words to the feelings that were stirrings in my sub-conscious mind since Iheard his speech.

  • Rajalakshmi

    Hindus should take a leaf from Islam in dealing with such anti Hindu remarks.

    Islamic countries are extremely strict in punishing any anti Islam remarks made by any individual. No one can dodge punishment by citing freedom of expression or “secularism/atheism/agnosticism”.

    It is only because Hindus willingly put up with animosity from both converted christians & converted muslims of India who are mollycoddled by various politicians we Hindus are in such a sorry state.

  • Sandhya Jain

    Succinct, good expose

  • anantha

    Excellent article

  • db

    nice one. we need such article to get expose the game of our media.

    ndtv, timesofindia thought they are smart enough to fool people.

  • Rock Solid

    Our media is indeed ‘secular’ the zeal with which the national and regional media went after Akbaruddin Owaisi’s alleged hate speech (yes it is alleged hate speech since the matter is before the court of law) we have never seen the same zeal when it comes to right-wing politicians like Bal Thackeray, Yogi Adityanath, Raja Singh (Hyderabad), not to speak of Praveen Togadia and yes the CM of Gujarat Narendra Modi (the murderer of Gujarati Muslims) who has made numerous provocative speeches in his home state to cause communal polarisation. Infact, the same media glorified Bal Thackeray while covering his funeral without thinking twice about the role he played in killing muslims. Please go and listen to the speeches delivered by Thackeray on YouTube but was there any action against that hate mongerer despite the filth and toxic waste that emanated from his mouth. I will produce only one gem from the thousands that Thackeray has produced Ek bhi landya bachchna nahi chahiye (Not one muslim should survive) I am sure you know that landya is a derogatory word. Now if there are demands to send Owaisi to jail I hope he is not the only one to meet that fate let those from the majority community also face the music. Why should Owaisi be made a test case why not make Togadia one since he also reportedly said that we will convert Hyderabad into Ayodhya a direct threat Muslims of Hyderabad.

  • Dinipc

    The Indian media has blood on its hands!

  • Yash Pradhan

    Excellent article. How about analysing why Bal Thackerays innumerable hate speeches were never condemned by the media. Most of them were merely glossed over. I am a Hindu but am appalled by the lack of media exposure when it came to politicians like Bal Thackeray who preached a spirituality of hate and division.

  • mhndv

    NDTV is not at all news channel it is spokesperson of congress party and pseudo secular lobby. Radia gate tape and involvement of congress powerful minister in money laundering matters are proof of it. When ever they get chance to pounce on its anti-Modi agenda they come of with full force by twisting comments, pick out out of context quotes from speech, resorting to cooked up statistics or at times peddling lies of Teesta like brigade. And when Akbar Owaisi like speeches come out in open by SM it is forced to come out with the pretension of defending its neutrality. But even than they do a balancing act to defend their master’s vote bank. Coming to media reporting on Bal Thackeray. Media in fact has always tried to malign Bal Thackeray and Shivsena with negative publicity by airing BL speeches and statements. BL and like of Pravin Togadiya are the result of policies and act of pseudo secularists party, their left-liberal advocates and supporting media who has continuously hurt the sentiments of majority community and carried on appeasement of minority community. Otherwise Hindu has much to complain about massacre of lakhs of Hindus, destruction of thousands of their temples, but Hindu had forgotten the misery of past and went on living but that has been construed as weakness and cowardice of Hindus. Let their be one fact put bluntly that it is only the Muslims who has given rise to terrorism swearing on Koran and sane

  • mhndv

    swearing on Koran and saner among the community neither have a say nor they have audacity to challenge them.