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Sudarshan TV controversy and the crackdown on the ‘UPSC Jihad’ show: Putting things in perspective

To understand the dangers of extremists entering the civil services, one has to understand what their underlying ideology is. What their 'idea of India' is. What their idea of law and justice is.

For a country that proudly proclaims that the tenet of Freedom to express the uncomfortable truth is at the core of its existence, the entire controversy surrounding Sudarshan News and its show ‘UPSC Jihad’ has left a bad taste in the mouth. The lynching of the truth started when Sudarshan TV released the promo of the show. Those who believed that ignoring any voice that does not conform to their worldview would make them go away, came out in swaths to demand that the show be banned and Suresh Chavhanke be arrested for “spreading bigotry and hate” through his show ‘UPSC Jihad’.

At this point of time, it must be borne in mind that none of those who were asking for a ban on the show had actually watched the show or even evaluated what facts, if any, have been presented by Sudarshan TV. They couldn’t have. The 9 part-series had not even aired yet.

The Supreme Court first said that it could not impose a pre-publishing ban. While the SC chose to uphold Sudarshan TV’s freedom of the press, the High Court at the time imposed a ban on the show – the ban was imposed before any of the episodes were aired. The broadcast of the programme was earlier stayed by an order of the Delhi High Court. The order was passed on the petition of some students of Jamia Millia Islamia University in which it was alleged that the programme could incite hatred against Muslims.

Thereafter, the channel had made a representation to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and got a nod to air their show.

There was enough drama that played out while the legal tussle was on, and even beyond that. After Sudarshan TV got the nod to air their show, a Muslim mon had gathered outside the Sudarshan TV studio in an attempt to stop the telecast of the show. Allegedly, they had also pelted stones.

Through it all, the media continued to sabre-rattle without evaluating the contents of the show. It was almost as if the Media was hoping that a Jihadist mob would get outraged at the telecast of the show and help them stop it – the means would justify the end for the media Lynch mob.

The contention of the media was:

  1. The show incited hate against Muslims
  2. The show was bigoted against Muslims
  3. The show could cause communal disharmony

Each of these claims must be examine individually to get an accurate perspective on the entire controversy.

The Sudarshan News series on UPSC Jihad focuses on certain very specific aspects – mainly, the undue advantage to Muslim candidates and the infiltration of problematic organisations like the Zakat Foundation, which, per the show, receives funds from terrorist organisations. Hence, the issue that Sudarshan TV highlighted was two-fold – Firstly, it was about the indue benefit to Muslim candidates in Civil Services Examinations and secondly, the hold of problematic organisations like Zakat Foundation on the coaching and selection of the Muslim candidates.

The unfair advantages which are given to minorities, where Muslim candidates benefit overwhelmingly, according to Sudarshan News show ‘UPSC Jihad’

  1. Suresh Chavhanke said during the show that Rs. 1 lakh is granted to members of the minority community through the Udaan Yojana to crack entrance exams for UPSC while Hindus do not receive any such benefits. Similarly, for gazetted posts in-state public service commission (PSC), the minority community receives Rs. 50,000 and for non-gazetted posts in state PSC and SSC exams, they receive Rs. 25,000. While the benefit is meant for minorities, the beneficiaries are overwhelmingly Muslim candidates.
  2. The other unfair advantages that Muslim candidates appearing for civil services receive are a higher number of attempts and higher upper limit for the age of candidates. Suresh Chavhanke said that some Muslims take advantage of OBC categories and are included in them. Consequently, a Hindu can appear for the civil services till 32 years of age, Chavhanke said, while Muslims can appear for the exams till 35 years of age. Also, Hindus can make only 6 attempts while Muslims can make 9.
  3. Suresh Chavhanke showed that the rate of success for candidates who opt for Urdu is disproportionately high when compared to other languages. For instance, in the year 2011, the success rate for Urdu candidates was 40.9% while the same for Sanskrit and Hindu were 11.8% and 13.1% respectively. In 2017, the success rates for Urdu, Sanskrit and Hindu were 19.2%, 7.1% and 7.1% respectively.
  4. The Sudarshan News editor said that in Urdu, the question paper is prepared by people from the same community, the answer sheets are checked by the same community and those who choose the language also belong to the same community. Suresh Chavhanke also revealed that Muslims on an average score higher than non-Muslims in interviews, which is bound to attract suspicion as an assessment during interviews can be highly subjective. In fact, In 2018, the difference in the marks for interviews between Muslims and non-Muslims was as high as 9.5 per cent. A similar trend has followed since 2013

Any unfair advantage to any community in exams of national importance is a grave concern that needs to be challenged and addressed. One wonders if the ‘liberals’ and others in seats of power are of the opinion that undue advantages to one community over all the others must not be seen with suspicion and flagged by the media simply because that community happens to be that of the Muslim community.

There were several other relevations about Zakat Foundation that claims to help Muslim candidates clear the exams for Civil Services:

  1. Zakat Foundation has links to Zakir Naik – the radical Islamist preacher who believes that Kafirs must be punished with death and has been linked to various terror attacks and radicalisation of Jihadis.
  2. Zakat Foundation believes that bureaucrats rule the country and through the civil services, Muslims could capture the PMO and all other ministries. We had reported on the matter in detail.
  3. Zakat Foundation has received funding from Islamist organisations linked to terrorism and Jihadi activity
  4. From 2009 to 2019 a total of 119 Zakat Foundation of India fellows have joined the Civil Services as per their website. As per reports, in 2020 alone 27 out of 40 Muslim candidates selected by Union Public Service Commission are products of the Zakat Foundation of India.
  5. As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Madina Trust U.K., through deposit in their bank account maintained at Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which is – 2007-2008—-Rs.1,68,031/-, 2010-2011—-Rs.6,37,650/-, 2011-2012—-Rs.6,30,835/-, 2012-2013—-Rs.5,19,817/-, 2014-2015—-Rs.9,59,345/-, 2015-2016—-Rs.11,90,203/-, 2017-2018—-Rs.12,73,960/-, 2018-2019—-Rs.13,64,694/-.
  6. Zakat Foundation links to Medina trust according to Sudarshan News – As per records of Charity Commission for England and Wales, Dr Zahid Ali Parvez, Trustee, Madina Trust is also a trustee with the Islamic Foundation. The Times, UK had reported that two Islamic Foundation trustees were on the UN sanctions list of people associated with banned terror organizations Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Further, they mention that according to reports, Madina Trust was also involved in an attack on Indian High Commission, London in September 2019.

Several such revelations have been been mentioned by Sudarshan News in its response to the court.

It is thus clear that Sudarshan News was not aiming to target ‘all Muslims’ as his detractors and even the court is attempting to allege but bring to the fore a serious concern of extremists and Jihadists making their way to Civil Service Exams through organisations like Zakat Foundation and also aided by the advantages given by the Indian state to Muslim candidates.

Essentially, even from a partial perusal of the presentation by Zakat Foundation, one will have to understand that the issue at hand is not about Muslims getting into the workforce or entering civil services, the issue at hand is about an ideology trying to rule Indians and more importantly – Hindus.

To understand the dangers of extremists entering the civil services, one has to understand what their underlying ideology is. What their ‘idea of India’ is. What their idea of law and justice is.

For Muslim extremists and Zakatis, the concept of Nation, as understood and followed by most Hindus of India does not exist. For most Hindus, the concept of Nation is defined by the political boundaries of modern India. For most Hindus, the country within the political boundary comes before the assertion of their religious beliefs. For extremists Muslims, that concept of Nation makes little sense. The concept of Ummah reigns supreme for Islamic extremists which essentially means that they believe in the larger Muslim brotherhood, globally, than the limiting idea of ‘nation’ defined by political boundaries. Essentially, for an extremist Muslim, his loyalty would lie with the Turkish Muslim or the Islamic nations of the world rather than with Hindus (Kafirs) of India and India itself, which is deemed as a Kafir nation.

In fact, add that even Savarkar incorporated political boundaries in his idea of Hindutva, so it’s ridiculous that Congress/intellectuals find that idea, which is rather in consonance with modern concepts of nation-state, as ‘dangerous’ while sleeping with a primitive idea that considers nationalism ‘haraam’

Following the same theme, for extremist Muslims, the ‘secular’ laws of the nation state mean absolutely nothing if it contradicts the religious laws of Sharia.

These problematic ideas were extremely apparent in the case of Shah Faesal, an IAS officer who had trained from the Zakat stable. For him, it was India responsible for demonising Imran Khan because his loyalties would lie with an Islamic State more than it could ever lie with the Kafir state of India. Further, his reaction of trying to malign India after the abrogation of Article 370 was another glimpse into his mindset – the Ummah and the laws of Sharia reign supreme.

For Islamists, India is a turf to be captured. A Kafir nations to be turned into a caliphate – to submit to the laws of Sharia.

This mentality is rather evident in the conduct of the Zakat Foundation itself. The Foundation itself tells its candidates that they should enter the civil services not because it is a respectable job avenue, but because they need to enter the bureaucracy and ‘capture’ the south block and ‘fight for the rights of Muslims’.

Now imagine such people entertain civil services. What happens when the IAS officer responsible for your area believes that he needs to only fight for the right of Muslims. Or that the Ummah is more important than the Nation-state. Or that Hindus are Kafirs. Or that the laws of the nation mean nothing if they contradict Sharia?

What Sudarshan News wanted to show was how this mentality and this ideology wanted to reign supreme in India through the civil services and by entering the bureaucracy. Further, the dangers of an extremist organisation that have connections with elements like Zakir Naik and other Islamic organisation that have been named in terror attacks.

The point of the show was to show that the Zakat Foundation is brainwashing Muslims and ensuring that extremists work towards capturing India’s bureaucracy through which, they can fight for what Muslims are owed – needless to say – what extremists think Muslims are owed is an Islamic caliphate.

Interestingly, this is not a figment of Sudarshan TV’s imagination. They showed clips where extremists like Akbaruddin Owaisi and other Zakatis were making such claims in their videos. They said that they need to capture the bureaucracy.

Those who pretend to uphold the ‘idea of India’ and concern themselves with Hindus shouting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ have displayed remarkable discomfort with this subject being spoken about. They have tried everything in their power to shut down Sudarshan News and ensure that this subject is not spoken about maybe because for the liberals, the establishment of a caliphate aligns perfectly with their own dreams of subjugating Hindus of India.

On Sudarshan News’ part, one will have to concede that a lot of the drama could have been avoided had they been a little subtle in the marketing of the show. The tone and tenor of the promo could have simply spoken about the terror links of Zakat Foundation and then, slipped in the UPSC aspect later. Or, they could have replaced the word ‘Jihad’ with something else.

There is a plethora of options that they could have gone with. However, the non-Left has a long way to go to learn the art of deception from the Left, unfortunately. What Sudarshan News is being penalised for is being honest and not hiding its truth behind politically correct jargon. What Sudarshan News is being penalised and hounded for is saying it as is and not sugarcoating the reality. For not deceiving its readers. They are being called bigots because they are talking about the very people who are bigoted enough to want to infiltrate the system to peddle their jihadi agenda.

Sudarshan News is being punished for tugging on an all-important topic that shatters to the veil of peace. Tears the veneer of Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeeb. Gives a glimpse into a massive cultural problem that awaits India. Sudarshan News had not once raised a problem with Muslims entering the workforce or even the Civil Services, it had raised a concern about Jihadist entering positions of power.

Sudarshan News is being penalised for not conforming to the Omertà.

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