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‘Dara Hua Media’: HT goes NDTV Pro Max, changes representational image of Muslim man even before Islamists attack

The interesting thing was, NDTV actually got bullied by a Twitter Islamist and changed the image, despite its daily claims of being the flagbearer of fearless journalism. HT seems to have gone a bit further and has probably removed the image even before anyone objected to it.

The Hindustan Times on Thursday used a representational image that showed a Muslim man wearing a skull cap being tested for Covid-19 for its report on new coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu. 

Original report by Hindustan Times

However, within minutes, the media house swiftly changed the featured image to a picture where the religion of the person being tested cannot be identified. 

Updated report by Hindustan Times

HT changes image without facing any attack

The move by Hindustan Times to change the representational image without any provocation or apparent public attack has raised several questions, especially because an earlier incident where NDTV had used the same image and was threatened by Islamist Sharjeel Usmani. 

Did HT receive objections from Islamists through private communication?

A possibility arises of the media house receiving ‘private attacks’ through phone calls or emails over the image. However, this can be confirmed or denied by the media house itself. 

Is HT editorial team admitting that the previous image was ‘Islamophobic’?

India being a secular country offers equal healthcare facilities for every citizen irrespective of religion, caste or creed. Precisely why citizens of every state, community, religion and gender were clicked getting tested or vaccinated for Covid-19 without any ‘biased lens’. 

However, there are high chances that the media house must have considered the harmless act Islamophobic and willingly changed the representational image without any prodding. The NDTV incident had clearly implied that for some Islamists, and their over-secular friends, even a representational image of a Muslim man that has no comments on religious lines can be termed ‘Islamophobic’. 

Pressure groups/ hyper-sensitive Islamist factions within media?

Not long ago, NDTV had faced severe backlash for using the same image as used by Hindustan Times. The media house was accused of Islamophobia and was bullied into deleting the tweet and changing the featured image.

The hate attack was furthered by the likes of Usmani who made threat-like Tweets to pressure the media house. 

Usmani had openly enquired about the NDTV employee who had chosen the same picture to go with the Covid-19 report in August.  “Who in NDTV decided to use this picture with the report? Employees may reveal the name if they wish to. DM is always open,” read Usmani’s provocative Tweet. 

Image Source: Twitter

Hence, the plausibility of the likes of Usmani playing the same cards cannot be ruled out either.

The interesting thing was, NDTV actually got bullied by a Twitter Islamist and changed the image, despite its daily claims of being the flagbearer of fearless journalism.

Such pressure groups within media houses are not uncommon and are always on the lookout to launch an assault on any media outlet that deviates from the dictate even in the slightest manner. So much so that the media houses do not bat an eyelid to mention the name of the Hindu perpetrator in the headline but even a Muslim occult practitioner accused of gang- rape is referred to as a ‘Tantrik.’

India’s self-proclaimed ‘secular media’ houses even use featured images of Hindu rituals and Hindu words/symbols to whitewash when the crime involves Muslims. Such is the fear.

Remember how alleged comedian Kunal Kamra had temporarily deactivated his Twitter account in 2018 after users started retweeting his old jokes on Muslims? Now whether that was because of the fear of appearing Islamophobic or probable expulsion from his current left-Islamist group is unknown. Currently, Kamra is enjoying cracking jokes on Hindus and their deities without the fear of having to deactivate his account.

Interestingly, this admission of ‘pressure groups’ within the media fraternity was made even by journalist-turned-YouTuber Abhisar Sharma, a known Modi hater, in the year 2013. 

Seemingly upset with the one-sided Godhra riots coverage, Sharma had Tweeted, “My problem with Muslim journalists is that somehow they cease to be journos and become “Muslims” when they question Modi on 2002 genocide.”

Image Source: Twitter

In yet another Tweet from the same year, Sharma had revealed, “Still remembr whn I ws in BBC, a muslimJourno reactd 2 GodhraTrain burning by sying: Ye To hota hee rehta hai.Tone chnged whn muslims killed.”

Image Source: Twitter

Yet again Sharma was slammed by the Islamists in the comments who even called him a ‘right-wing propagandist.’ 

Like NDTV, and now Hindustan Times, there are a plethora of examples where individuals or organizations are seen being too careful of even indirect, remote accusations of Islamophobia while openly shaming Hindus and their lifestyles without the slightest consideration for religious sentiments.

Even a harmless image of a Muslim man being tested for Covid-19 is apparently unacceptable to the community who preaches ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness.’ The irony is, the self-proclaimed ‘secular liberal’ media bows down to such elements, being extra cautious lest they ‘offend’ the Islamists.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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