ISLMABAD, April 8: Twenty eight senior journalists and media persons have appealed to all Indian constitutional bodies to “uphold their constitutional mandate” and take action against the increasingly frequent attacks on minorities especially Muslims, in the country. The appeal, titled, ‘In the face of Orchestrated Hatred, Silence is not an Option’, begins by highlighting that the country has seen a “concerted amplification of hatred” as well as an attendant advocacy of violence”.
The appeal also noted that the Police either failed to act against those inciting anti-minority violence or booked those guilty under “disproportionately mild sections (of legislation)”. According to the appeal, strengthened the “perception that such offenders are above the law”. Against this backdrop the undersigned called for constitutionally provisioned and statutory bodies, such as the offices of the president of India, Chief justice and justices of the supreme court and the county’s High Courts, Election commission of India and others “to ensure that these calls for violence do not translate into something unimaginably worse”. Moverover, sections of the media allowed themselves to become “conduits of hate speech”, statement calls for journalist and media bodies, such as press council of India and National Broadcasters and Digital Association to “respond urgently to the crisis at hand”. The statement then comes to the Haridwar Dharma Sansad, which took place in December last year and which featured “well synchronized calls for the annihilation of Muslims”. The statement goes on to highlight how social media and online platforms are being used to systematically target Muslim women, providing the example of the ‘BulliBai app.
Further, on 15 March, high court upheld the state governments decision, ruling that “wearing of Hijab by Muslim women does not from a par t of essential religious practice in Islam faith”. Finally the statement come to the recent debacle over VivekAgnihotri’s controversial film. The Kashmir files, which it describes as “a film that cynically exploits the sufferings and tragedy of the Kashmir Pandits by using their plight as a pretext for the promotion of hatred against Muslims”.