Self-proclaimed journalist Rohini Singh of leftist propaganda outlet The Wire recently took to Twitter to question the Governor of PIF (Public Investment Fund) Saudi and Aramco on its deal with Reliance Industries, triggering an Islamist attack against the Indian business conglomerate.
In her tweet, Singh questioned the wisdom of Saudi Arabian Oil Company Aramco for having talked to buy a stake in the Reliance Industries, whom she accused of spreading hate against Muslims in India through its media network News 18. Singh also tagged in her tweet Yasir Al Rumayyan, the Governor of PIF, asking him if he endorsed the alleged vilification of Muslims by a news network funded by Reliance Industries.
“The Ambanis happily do business with Muslim nations. @Aramco is in talks to buy a stake in Reliance Industries. Back home in India, their media network is busy spreading hate against ordinary Muslims. Yasir Al Rumayyan @PIFSaudi do you endorse this?” Singh tweeted.
And soon after Ms Singh’s tweet appealing Saudi Arabia to review its business deal with Reliance Industries, The Wire’s journalist’s fictional accusations against Ambani’s organisation were lapped up by Islamists, who took to Twitter to attack the conglomerate and call upon Saudi Arabia to snap its ties with the Reliance Group.
A Twitter user quoted Singh’s tweet against Reliance and tagged Aramco, asking the Saudi Oil Company to stop “terror funding”.
Another Islamist cited a poem called ‘Sab yaad rakha jayega’ by one Aamir Aziz, who penned it during the anti-CAA protests to portray that the Muslims in India will not forget that the Indian government wants to fast-track citizenship to persecuted religious minorities in neighbouring Islamic countries, and called on the Saudi oil company Aramco to sever ties with a company whose media channel called for the “genocide of Muslims”.
It is imperative to note here that the CAA did not impact citizenship of Indians, including Muslims, in any way. It only fast-tracks Indian citizenship of those persecuted religious minorities who have fled the three neighbouring Islamic countries fearing religious persecution.
Although Singh made unsubstantiated allegations against Reliance Industries, accusing it of running a media channel that hated on Muslims, her Islamist followers extrapolated the assertions to accuse the company of being a “terror organisation” and calling on the “genocide of Muslims”. This is exactly how hate spawns on social media websites when a social media user with sizeable followers count whips up a communal frenzy by uploading misleading posts.
The paradox of saving the “secular fabric” of a media channel by seeking intervention from a supremacist nation
Nevertheless, Singh’s tweet against Reliance Industries provides a window into how sympathisers of Islamists operate in India. Even though they lay claim to lofty principles of pluralism and secularism, in reality, they have no qualms in trampling upon those ideals if that helps them in reinforcing their propaganda and in getting back at their political adversaries.
For example, in this case, Saudi Arabia is an Islamic monarchy, where people belonging to the minorities have limited rights. In other Islamic countries like Pakistan, non-Muslims are often targeted because their faith is not Islam. Many of these country also has a dubious record of human rights violations and press freedom.
But, Ms Singh had no reservations in seeking help from a supremacist country, apparently to save the secular fabric of a media organisation run by the Ambanis and Reliance. By asking the state-run oil company and its Governor of PIF to review its deal against Reliance Industries, Ms Singh, who wants India to be secular and democratic, effectively endorsed the religious supremacism and monarchy rule in Saudi Arabia.
The current case of Rohini grumbling about a media network bankrolled by Reliance Group lays bare the hypocrisy of the left-leaning liberals in India. They fume over companies and organisations that heed criticism from Hindus and make amends to accommodate their religious sensibilities, accusing them of caving in to pressure from Hindutva proponents. For instance, when popular jewellery brand Tanishq had pulled down an advertisement after it attracted backlash from Hindus, the left-leaning “intellectuals” had slammed the company for not standing up against the critics.
But when it comes to them, the left-leaning liberals want the companies and organisations to meekly follow their directives. They feel no hesitance in perpetuating the “cancel culture” and using pressure tactics to force companies and organisations into obedience. As is evident in the above case, Rohini tagged Aramco and Governor of Saudi’s PIF in her tweet, not to simply highlight the editorial policy of a media network controlled by Reliance, but perhaps because she wanted to see financial losses incurred to the Reliance Industries.
The uncanny resemblance with Islamist attacks on Hindus in the Middle East for calling out the Tablighi Jamaat hoodlums
The attack on Reliance Industries also holds an uncanny resemblance to the doxxing attacks that were unleashed against Hindus in the Middle East for calling out the Tablighi Jamaat hoodlums and extending their support to the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), which was enacted by the government of India in December 2019. The motivation behind the campaign was clear: To harass Hindus by whatever means necessary. As a consequence, several Hindus in Gulf countries had lost their jobs.
The matter of concern was that Hindus were being targeted for criticism of organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat whose Islamic fundamentalism had jeopardized the health of individuals in numerous countries, not just in India. Criticism of one specific organization cannot be labeled as Islamophobia and attempts to equate criticism of a single Islamic missionary organization with spreading hate against the entire Muslim community and Islamophobia reeks of malice on the part of the individuals concerned.
It is almost as if one cannot call out the criminal behaviour of people belonging to certain community only because they belong to that particular community. One quickly gets labelled as ‘Islamophobe’ for trying to hold a criminal belonging to that religion accountable. Quite clearly, what happened to Hindus in Middle East was a thinly veiled attempt to unleash the state machinery of Islamic countries against Hindus under the garb of ‘fighting Islamophobia’.
Similarly, The Wire journalist Rohini Singh appears to have invoked the same state machinery to mount an attack against Reliance Industries. Just like the Hindus were falsely accused of being Islamophobic to rally Muslims into attacking them, here too, Rohini has tried to use the ‘Islamophobia’ card to incite an attack against Reliance Industries and disrupt its business deal with Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco.
Rohini Singh’s attack on Ambanis right out of Congress playbook?
Interestingly, Singh’s tweet against Reliance Industries perfectly jibes with the Congress party’s perverse obsession with the Ambanis and the Reliance Group. Short of any real agenda to take on the Central government, the Congress party and its leaders, particularly Rahul Gandhi, have been routinely trotting out Ambani jibes to allege that the Modi government is in cahoots with the business conglomerate and is working against the interests of common people.
In the run-up to 2019 general elections, Rahul Gandhi tried to sow doubts over the Rafale Deal and insinuated that Anil Ambani’s defence company had been wrongly favoured. Even though the Supreme Court of the country declared that there was no wrongdoing in the deal, Gandhi continued to hurl allegations, thinking that some of them might stick and tarnish the otherwise pristine reputation of PM Modi. Unfortunately for Congress, the allegations did not help in reviving its political fortunes and the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
But exhibiting a stubborn willingness to not learn from his past mistakes, Rahul Gandhi only doubled down on his attacks against Ambani, later on adding Adani to his list as well, and accusing the government of perpetuating crony capitalism. The Congress party had also used the oxygen crisis during the devastating second wave of COVID-19 to defame Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Group.
Not just that, even during the recent ‘farmer’ protests, the so-called farmers in Congress-ruled Punjab had gone ahead and destroyed at least 1,500 Reliance Jio towers because Rahul Gandhi and his friendly media tried to portray that the new farm laws will only benefit two corporates: Ambani’s Reliance group and Gautam Adani’s Adani group. There was a campaign run where so-called farmers urged everyone to port out of Jio numbers, just to hurt Reliance group financially.
In her tweets, Rohini has often hailed the Congress party and aligned herself with the narrative sympathetic to the Congress party. Therefore, it would not be a stretch to say that the latest trick to malign the Ambanis as anti-Muslim bigots appears to be right out of the Congress playbook. And if it hurts the conglomerate financially, it is perhaps just an added bonus.