NEW DELHI—Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) president Maulana Arshad Madani has welcomed the Supreme Court order regarding the ‘media trial’ and said that a section of media was spreading hatred between communities.
The apex court’s order came on a petition in the Supreme Court filed on April 7, 2020, against the biased TV channels and the sectarian print media who were deliberately tarnishing the image of the Tablighi Jamaat, and especially Muslims, and spreading hatred between Hindus and Muslims by linking the coronavirus to the Tabligh Markaz of Nizamuddin.
On this petition, 15 hearings have been held so far, in which senior advocate Dushyant Dave and Sanjay Hegde and other lawyers have been appearing on behalf of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. But no final order has been made yet. Because the central government is acting evasively, our struggle to rein in the biased media will continue until a positive result is achieved.
Maulana Madani, in response to a question, said that the constitution has given every citizen freedom of expression, but this freedom of speech does not give permission to media to indulge in deliberate harassment, or character assassination of minorities, and Muslims in particular.
But in recent years, the continuous negative and biased reporting about Muslims by the media, especially the electronic media, has threatened the freedom and lives of Muslims, which is clearly against the basic rights of the Right to Life given in the Constitution.
Stating that the sectarianism being spread by a section of media was more dangerous than the coronavirus, he said that the biased news channels, instead of discussing the basic issues of the people, continue to spread hatred in a planned manner.
Through debates and discussions such reports are being shown to create a communal atmosphere in society, increase religious extremism, and allow those who engage in the politics of hate, to promote their politics.
Maulana Madani said that it was unfortunate that the media became the judge in the case of Muslims and presented the Muslim accused as a criminal.
However, the media goes silent when an accused is acquitted. An important example of this is Mufti Abdul Qayyum and his associates in the Akshardham temple attack case, who were sentenced to death and life imprisonment by the lower court. But all of them were acquitted by the Supreme Court. The apex court also ordered action against the police officers involved in the arrest. But the same media that had earlier had highlighted their arrest, remain silent on their acquittal.
Criticising this double standard of the media, Maulana Madani asked if such persons could be loyal to the nation.