While the Muslims in India celebrate Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, Hindu nationalists have started running a hashtag — #BanBakraEid on Twitter. The hashtag topped the twitter feeds and was trending at number one for some days around the festival of Eid al-Adha or famously known as Bakrid in India.
An old video of late actor Irrfan Khan is circulated widely with his comments on Bakrid taken in some other context and clips of his statements shared on Twitter claiming how he opposed the festival of sacrifice (Eid-UL-Adha). Irrfan’s statements sparked off controversy in 2016 but have nothing to do with the present scenario. This further indicates how such an old video even now has the capability to be served as a hatred tool on the plate of increasing Islamophobia in India.
Hindu nationalists running #BanBakraEid trend on Twitter claim that Muslims who take part in such festivals are cruel and inhuman in nature.
A recent notification about ban on animal slaughter by the Tripura government triggered controversy, after which the administration manifested itself to clarify on the issue. While the Tripura Congress president Birajit Sinha, opposition CPIM leader and All India Kisan Sabha state president Pabitra Kar condemned the notification, the Wakf Board extended support to the government’s notification.
Muslims of Haridwar breathed a sign of relief after the Uttarakhand High Court on 7th of July stayed a government order that banned slaughter anywhere in Haridwar district. A ban on slaughter houses since March of last year in Haridwar came after BJP MLAs approached the then chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat demanding a ban on slaughterhouses in a ‘religious city like Haridwar.’ The whole district of Haridwar has been declared as a ‘slaughter-free’ zone.
Such similar notifications have been issued by various state-governments backed by the BJP party.
Adding fuel to fire the Indian Media have been serving spoonfuls of hatred throughout the day and night.
News TV channel – ‘News Nation’ currently on the occasion of Eid runs a debate with two Muslim clerics namely Mufti Shamun Kasmi and Mufti Ali Kadri with the title ‘What Islam Says’. The host of the news debate opens her show by saying, ‘Is it the right way to kill an animal after feeding and nursing it or is it paving a path towards fanaticism?’
On the red screens of the TV news debate comes flashing a title “Is sacrificing even necessary on Bakra-Eid?” Apparently, the news anchor swiftly served her own hidden motives through the debate questioning the complete concept of the festival.
Similarly, ZEE News flashes it’s screens with the title – “What will Sar-Kalam gang do on Bakra-Eid?” Further the news channel flashes another title, ‘“… all Hindus are on the target.” The news debate is a discussion being done on the recent incident in Rajasthan’s Udaipur where a tailor Kanhaiya Lal was hacked to death inside his own shop. The debate draws a connection between the festival of Eid al-Adha and the Udaipur incident.
Such debates portray a wider look towards the intentions of such news channels who are so fearlessly running similar shows which create enmity among religions and augment Islamophobia in the country.
Akansha Deshmukh is a Bhopal-based investigative journalist who focuses on serious crimes and political corruption. She can be reached at [email protected].