Home Media Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri says 'sobbing' Muslim cabbie in The Quint's video is a part-time actor who was hired for the video

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri says ‘sobbing’ Muslim cabbie in The Quint’s video is a part-time actor who was hired for the video

The controversy comes at a time when reports have emerged of Muslim cab drivers in Delhi forming WhatsApp groups where they collecting data of pro-BJP riders and sharing it on WhatsApp group to give them low ratings on online cab booking apps.

A controversy has erupted over a video shared by The Quint where a Muslim cab driver is seen hyperventilating over the proposed National Register of Citizens. The person in the video appears to be putting some special effort into exaggerating concerns about the NRC and invents scenarios that are detached from reality. “What wrong have we done to deserve this?” the driver asks rather dramatically before adding “What is our crime?”

The alleged Muslim cab driver, Irshad Ahmed, fearmongers about the NRC without any rebuttal from the journalist. He says, “My heart starts pounding on just thinking about NRC. I don’t have land, neither do I have documents for land. What will I tell them to prove that I am an Indian.” The Quint does not bother to point out that owning land is not the only way of proving citizenship.

Read: Bangladeshi journalist visits Kolkata, participates in anti-NRC protest holding ‘Modi go back’ poster

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Furthermore, Ahmed would have needed to provide documents for acquiring his driving license, which is likely to be enough evidence of citizenship in the proposed NRC. Therefore, his fearmongering does not make any sense at all given the fact that he already has the documents necessary to prove his case. Furthermore, if he is driving the cab without a valid license or if his license happens to be fraudulent, then his immediate concern should be the fact that he has broken laws of the country and not the NRC the details of which haven’t even emerged yet. The same was pointed out by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

The gravest of allegations, however, came from filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri. He has alleged that the Muslim cab driver is, in fact, a part-time junior actor in Bollywood. He has claimed that Ahmed was paid by The Quint to act out the scene from a written script.

Vivek Agnihotri has also challenged The Quint to not just deny this allegation mounted by him, but also to prove that he was indeed a cab-driver and not an actor hired by the media outlet.

The filmmaker even responded to BJP MP Subramanian Swamy reiterating that the man shown in The Quint video is a hired actor and not an actual cab driver.

The controversy comes at a time when reports have emerged of Muslim cab drivers in Delhi forming WhatsApp groups where they collecting data of pro-BJP riders and sharing it on WhatsApp group to give them low ratings on online cab booking apps. The claims, although not verified as yet, raises troubling concerns about cab drivers of a particular religious orientation profiling their customers on the basis of their political ideology based on their personal information.

Read: NDTV spreads fake news again, this time during a ‘fact check’ on the government’s claims on NRC and NPR

It also raises pertinent questions about The Quint’s editorial policies. As we know, the media outlet’s parent company partnered with Bloomberg News to found the BloombergQuint. Bloomberg News was founded by Michael Bloomberg, one of the Democrat Presidential aspirants for the 2020 US Presidential Elections.

In the past, The Quint has also offered tutorials to protesters on how to avoid facial recognition by wearing masks. We are also aware that Bloomberg’s news coverage is affected by their ownership. Thus, given what we know, one has to wonder whether The Quint’s coverage is affected by their association with Bloomberg News, which can be said to serve as the propaganda wing of a US politician from the Democrat party.

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