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Rahul Gandhi supports Alt News’ Zubair after his arrest over hurting religious sentiments, had made Hinduphobic posts

Gandhi's tweet supporting Mohammed Zubair came after the Alt News co-founder was arrested, days after his old social media posts where he had mocked and insulted Hindu Gods and Goddesses had gone viral on the internet.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday threw his weight behind Alt News co-founder after Delhi Police arrested him under sections 153 and 295A for hurting religious sentiments and attempting to incite riots.

Taking to Twitter and sharing an infographic by far-leftist portal The Wire, the Gandhi scion tweeted, “Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more. Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny. #DaroMat.”

Source: Twitter

Even as Gandhi came out in support of Mohammed Zubair, it is worth noting that the arrest of the Alt News co-founder came weeks after his old social media posts where he had made derogatory references against Hindu Gods and Goddesses surfaced online. Facing online outrage and perhaps fearing legal action, Zubair quickly deleted his Facebook page. Days later, he also removed disparaging tweets that insulted Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Mohammed Zubair’s old Hinduphobic posts surface online

On 13 June 2022, days after India witnessed violent protests that saw Islamists running riot, indulging in violence over the alleged insult of Prophet Muhammad, Twitter user The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeye) shared a collage of past tweets and posts by Mohammed Zubair mocking Hindu Gods and beliefs.

In one of the tweets shared by The Hawk Eye, Zubair is seen mocking Shivling and comparing it with the top view of the Vatican City. He said the post comparing Shivling with the Vatican City inspired him to come up with a parody Facebook page ‘Unofficial: Subramanian Swamy’ in 2014.

Apparently, one of the posts on the Facebook page ‘Unofficial Mohammed Zubair‘ mocks Arun Govil to take a swipe at Lord Ram, suggesting that ISRO must consult the actor because he would know more about the rocketry.

Another post by ‘Unofficial Mohammed Zubair’ shows an aeroplane under the water with the caption: “Breaking: Underwater Pushpak Vimana used by Raavan 5000 years found in the Indian Ocean.”

Besides ridiculing Hindu Gods, Zubair has also poked fun at Hindu beliefs and took a dig at Sanskrit, regarded as one of the most important languages of Hinduism and the means of communication by the Hindu Gods.

As his Hinduphobic posts started getting traction, with netizens sharing screenshots to highlight how Zubair has been moving and hurting the sentiments of Hindus, the AltNews co-founder quietly pulled down his Facebook page. A few days later, he deleted the controversial tweets as well.

The symbiotic relationship between Congress and Alt News

Despite his Hinduphobic posts, the Congress party and one of its foremost leaders, Rahul Gandhi, have firmly stood with the Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair following his arrest. This generosity, in part, stems from the pro-Congress reportage of Alt News, which was admitted by none other than its other co-founder, Pratik Sinha.

In May 2022, Sinha took to Twitter to publish a tediously long thread to insist that his organisation is not partisan. However, in doing so, he inadvertently revealed the innate favouritism his organisation has routinely extended to political figures, parties and communities such as Rahul Gandhi, TMC and Muslims, under the pretext of carrying out dispassionate “fact-checks.”

In a string of tweets, Sinha explained how his organisation has been at the vanguard in fighting “misinformation” targeting senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Curiously, Sinha did not elaborate on how his organisation has been averse to fact-checking misinformation peddled by Rahul Gandhi. For that would have proved it beyond a shred of doubt how loyal AltNews has been to the Congress party.

While Sinha took strenuous efforts to paint AltNews as a bastion of truth and neutrality, in reality, Sinha’s tweets revealed that his organisation is anything but. Instead, his inordinately long Twitter thread only ended up reinforcing the prevailing belief around AltNews: that is a propaganda website with a strong predilection for Congress, Rahul Gandhi, TMC and Muslims, and a deep aversion to the BJP, Hindus and PM Modi.

While the symbiotic relationship between Congress and Alt News is not openly marketed to help the latter maintain the charade of neutrality and objectiveness it routinely lays claim to, the close association between the two entities was out in the open when the self-described ‘fact-checking’ website rushed to defend the Congress party after ‘toolkit on Central Vista and defaming PM Modi were leaked in the public domain.

A day after social media was awash with a toolkit document, allegedly linked to the Congress party, which entailed a detailed plan of action for the Congress leaders and supporters to exploit the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country and target the Modi government, the Congress party used the so-called fact-checker Alt News to declare the toolkit ‘fake’. The party gave documents to the propaganda website to make its case, and the site made some dubious analyses to claim that the document allegedly prepared by AICC Research Department is forged on a real letterhead.

An article published on Alt News, notorious for peddling propaganda and fake news, gave a clean chit to the Congress party by declaring that the ‘toolkit’ was created on a forged document. According to them, AICC Research Department chairman Rajeev Gowda had given documents and statements to Alt News to proclaim the toolkit to be fake.

Given Alt News’ historical antagonism toward PM Modi and the BJP, it came as no surprise that Rahul Gandhi chose to support Mohammed Zubair, perhaps to return the favour his organisation has been doing for the Congress party, and in the process, attack the Modi government.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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