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The ‘protests’ that burnt the nation: How American citizen Siddharth Varadarajan’s The Wire collaborated with anti-CAA ‘protesters’

SAHI lists 'Azaad India Collective' (AIC) as one of the organisers of the protests against the CAA. Through SAHI, we discovered the website of the AIC where we discovered that AIC had maintained a diligent database of protest material related to the CAA.

The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in both the Houses of the Parliament unleashed a spree of violence across the whole country. A great deal of propaganda was launched against the government which was intimately laced with anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiments. The protests soon erupted across Universities abroad as well, in an effort to generate diplomatic pressure against India.

One of the initiatives launched abroad to foment unrest in India was the Students Against Hindutva (SAH) which has since rechristened itself Students Against Hindutva Ideology (SAHI). We have published a comprehensive report on the organisation, where we highlighted their intimate links with the Democrat party establishment and their plans for lobbying with the funds they received.

SAHI went to the extent of creating a database which could be used to indoctrinate the citizens of the West against the CAA. Numerous dubious sources of information were listed on its website and the objective was to create an international movement across universities around the world against the act that was passed by the democratically elected parliament of India.

Through this database of theirs, we discovered the role played by one Indian Media Outlet in actively promoting these protests against the Indian State. Unsurprisingly, the founding editor of this particular digital media portal is not even Indian and has a history of peddling false information and indulging in propaganda against Hindutva.

The Azaad India Collective (AIC)

SAHI lists ‘Azaad India Collective’ (AIC) as one of the organisers of the protests against the CAA. Through SAHI, we discovered the website of the AIC where we discovered that AIC had maintained a diligent database of protest material related to the CAA. On their website, AZI maintains an archive of petitions and editorials regarding the CAA and also information regarding protests being carried out across the country.

Through their website, we also came across the Instagram account of the AIC. On their Instagram account, we discovered that they had given a call for people to join these protests as well.

Azzad India Collective calls for people to join the protests against the CAA
Source: Instagram

We also discovered that the AIC had promoted the ‘Holi Against Hindutva’ protests organised by SAHI against the CAA. It is pertinent to note here that the AIC was quite openly collaborating with organisations abroad which sought to pressurise the Indian Government into refusing to implement an Act passed by the Parliament of India. It is as blatant an effort to undermine Indian Democracy as it gets.

Azaad India Collective supported Holi Against Hindutva protests organised by SAHI across Western universities
Source: Instagram

In an effort to investigate the antecedents of the AIC further, we discovered that the collective was founded by two students, Zainab Firdausi and Sparsh Agarwal, of the Ashoka University. According to Hyde Park Herald, a weekly newspaper that serves the residents of Chicago, Illinois, their work for the AIC will be housed at the US Library of Congress’ web archives on India.

Through their Twitter account, we learnt that they had endorsed Bernie Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday in the Democratic Primaries of the US Presidential Elections. While their endorsement was utterly irrelevant and Joe Biden thrashed the Democratic Socialist to become the presumptive nominee for his party, it does show the close bonds that AIC shares with the far-Left in the USA.

Azaad India Collective endorsed Bernie Sanders for President
Tweet by AIC

The most intriguing, however, was the interview Zainab and Sparsh gave to a YouTube channel called The Mesh. In the interview, the two admitted that although they were the face of AIC, there were lots of other individuals who were part of the initiative. Furthermore, they also said that they had attended numerous protests in India against the CAA.

Collaboration Between The Wire and Azaad India Collective

One of the shocking revelations the founders of the AIC made during the interview is that they “collaborated” with The Wire on a particular matter related to the protests. “One of the other important collaborations we did was with the news organisation The Wire. They wanted to create an entire timeline of all the activities that have been taking place from the 12th December, on the day that it was tabled on the Lok Sabha up until the present day,” said Sparsh.

He continued, “The entire research for the timeline for that was done by us, the Azaad India Collective.” In addition to that, he mentioned that there is a host of other ‘Civil Society’ organisations who send them photographs to put up on their website or on instances where they can collaborate with each other.

It is important to understand why the involvement of The Wire with AIC is so problematic. Here we have a media organisation collaborating with an organisation that seeks to undermine a law passed by the democratically elected Parliament of India that has widespread support among the people of India.

Furthermore, the founding editor of The Wire is not even an Indian citizen. He is an American. Thus, we possibly have an American here who seeks to influence the laws of our country by using a media organisation as a propaganda tool to shape public opinion. We cannot even be sure whether Varadarajan is acting of his own accord or under the influence of elements within the US political establishment.

Regardless of whether one is liberal or otherwise, such foreign interference in the internal matters of India ought to be cause for great concern. Thus, with the AIC, we have the founders collaborating with student organisations in the United States to influence Indian laws and thereby, undermine the authority of the Indian Parliament to formulate its own laws. And also, we have The Wire, a media organisation whose founding-editor is an American, collaborating with them on matters related to the protests.

The Antecedents of The Wire

The Wire and its employees have indulged in rabid fear-mongering regarding the CAA. One of its columnists, Sharjeel Imam, went so far as to claim that Muslims should cut off North East India from the rest of the country in order to bring the Indian State to its knees. The Wire columnist is also the mastermind of the Shaheen Bagh protests which culminated with the riots in Delhi during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India. He is currently in prison for his seditious remarks.

The Wire has also been involved in spreading propaganda to whitewash the crimes committed by the radical elements of the Muslim community during the Delhi riots. In the matter of the Rajdhani School incident in Mustafabad, where the said school was used as a base to attack the Hindu community, The Wire whitewashed the incident altogether.

The owner of Rajdhani School has been arrested in connection with the incdient. The charge sheet filed in the matter also documents the manner in which the school was used as a base to attack the Hindu community.

The Wire also spread fake news regarding the investigation into the Delhi Riots. It falsely claimed that Delhi Police was unfairly targeting the Muslim community on the basis of completely farcical information and accused the police of anti-Muslim bias. It was called out for it on social media by Delhi Police.

Siddharth Varadarajan, himself, has spread fake news regarding BJP leaders. An FIR was filed against him recently for spreading fake news about Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Varadarajan has a history of indulging in propaganda that dates as far back to the Gujarat Riots when he tried to bury the reality of the Godhra Massacre.

In addition to all of this, it appears extremely unethical for a media organisation to actively collaborate with protesters. It’s clear now that they are not journalists but anti-government activists who seek to sway public opinion in order to have influence over public policy. The fact that The Wire has an American citizen as its founding-editor adds to the problem further.

Investigation into the Delhi Riots

The investigation into the Delhi Riots has discovered evidence that suggests that there was a deep conspiracy hatched by AAP Councillor in the murder of IB Constable Ankit Sharma. Furthermore, the charge sheet filed in the matter also documents the involvement of JNU ‘scholar’ Umar Khalid and his close aide Khalid Saifi in inciting the riots at Delhi.

The investigation has also revealed the role played by far-left ‘activist’ group Pinjra Tod in the said riots. Two ‘activists’ associated with the group have been arrested in connection with the riots thus far.

The Holi Against Hindutva Initiative

As we have reported earlier, the Holi Against Hindutva initiative was launched by Students Against Hindutva that now calls itself Students Against Hindutva Ideology (SAHI). The group had written a letter, filled with misinformation and falsehood regarding the CAA and NRC, to the United States House of Congress that is currently controlled by the Democrats.

One of the prominent activists associated with the group, Ziad Ahmed, has worked for Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democratic politicians in the past. He also founded a marketing agency that helps clients reach out to youngsters. SAHI also coordinates closely with other organisations associated with the Democratic Party.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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