Friday, September 8, 2017

Journalists Murders in India; BRICs Xiamen Declaration; DACA Repeal

Why was Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh murdered? Who killed her? Why are Modi's Hindu Nationalists supporters targeting public intellectuals and journalists critical of Indian government policies? Why has India joined the reporters without borders' list of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists? Why has Muslim become a "derogatory term" in the words of Indian journalist Anoo Bhuyan? How are anti-Muslim Hindutva trolls using the social media to spew hate and issue threats?

Murdered Indian Intellectuals Since 2014: Narendra Dabholkar, M.M. Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh and Govind Pansare.
Photos: The Hindu, PTI  
Why did China allow BRICs Xiamen Summit declaration to mention some of the "terrorist" groups targeting India over Kashmir issue? Was this a mistake as claimed by some Chinese think tank analysts like Hu Shisheng of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations? How will this impact China-Pakistan ties? Is this a success of Modi's campaign to slander and isolate Pakistan?

What is DACA and why did President Trump repeal it? Is it a wise decision from moral and economic viewpoint? Who will be most affected by it? Are there any Indians and Pakistanis among the DACA recipients? Will Congress act before DACA expiration to legalize the status of DACA beneficiaries?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with analysts Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Modi Succeeding in Isolating Pakistan?

Impact of Trump's DACA Repeal on Pakistanis

Trump's Afghan Strategy: Will Pakistan Yield to US Pressure?

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Karan Thapar Debunks Indian Narrative of Kulbhushan Yadav

Modi's Trolls: BJP's Vicious Attack Machine

Gen Petraeus Debunks Charges of Pakistani Duplicity

Husain Haqqani vs Riaz Haq on India vs Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

HIndu Nationalism Going Global

Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative on Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-US-Japan

Robert Gates' Straight Talk on Pakistan


Riaz Haq said...

#India’s #Modi Criticized for Following Twitter Feed Tied to Nasty Post. #GauriLankeshMurder #BJP #Trolls

NEW DELHI — What are the ethics in choosing whom to follow on Twitter? Do influential people — say, a head of state — have a higher responsibility not to follow people who post hateful tweets?

That is the debate now in India after it was discovered that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a hugely popular but divisive figure, was following the Twitter feed of a man who wrote the following this week, after a female journalist was shot to death: “One bitch dies a dog’s death all the puppies cry in the same tune.”

Many Indians were bothered by that message, then doubly disturbed to learn that the writer, Nikhil Dadhich, a prolific tweeter who describes himself as a “Hindu nationalist,” was among the 1,779 accounts their prime minister was following.

“The prime minister shouldn’t be doing that. He’s giving legitimacy to filth,” said Sai Krishna, a medical student in southern India who heard about the nasty message after the journalist, Gauri Lankesh, was killed Tuesday. The police have few leads, but many analysts said they believed the killing was an assassination.

Mrs. Lankesh was a provocative intellectual who criticized many politicians and religious leaders. The way she was killed — gunned down outside her house by a mysterious assailant — was eerily similar to how several other critics of the Hindu nationalist agenda of the Modi government have been silenced.


His political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (commonly referred to as the B.J.P.), is frequently accused of operating what detractors call a troll army — a group of bloggers who quickly swarm online anyone seen as critical of the party. Mr. Modi is following some of these people and in doing so, Mr. Krishna, the medical student, said, was acting “like a passive troll.”

Some of the accounts Mr. Modi follows on Twitter have made misogynistic comments, spread anti-Muslim feelings and dangerous rumors, or made remarks that do not always jibe with his message of tolerance. One account he follows suggested dropping an atomic bomb on Pakistan. The same account called a prominent female journalist a prostitute.

”What is the compelling need to follow these people?” asked Swati Chaturvedi, the author of, “I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army.” “Most of them boast in their bio saying, ‘Blessed to be followed by PM Modi,’ which is essentially like a license and a liberty to say what they want to.”

Mr. Modi’s party fired back, saying that he followed Indian opposition leaders, that just because he followed certain people did not mean he agreed with them, and that he had more pressing matters than arguing over whom he followed on Twitter and why.

Nitin B said...

Yes, India has it's problems but let's put things in proper context. In the Freedom of Press Index, Pakistan still ranks below India by a few notches.

Riaz Haq said...

Arundhati Roy on #India #BJP #Modi bigotry, brutality #Hindutva politics #GauriLankesh #Islamophobia #Kashmir. …

Described as the "conscience of India" in Time's 2014 list of 100 most influential people, author Arundhati Roy has a voice that counts. Speaking in Berlin, she introduced her long-awaited second work of fiction.

(Arundhati) Roy's novel ( "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,") portrays many atrocities, and some reviewers were repelled by that. But a tragic event just days before her appearance in Berlin drove home the fine line between fiction and reality in India. Roy recalled with grief how her friend Gauri Lankesh, a newspaper editor and outspoken critic of the ruling Hindu nationalist party — a writer with similar views to Roy — was shot dead in Bangalore by unknown assailants.

"People are being lynched every day," Roy said. A person can be accused of having consumed beef, for example, and suddenly be surrounded by a dangerous mob. "If these things are not pushed back, we lose everything," she said.

Roy believes boundless hate is dividing the country under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, with emotions being stirred up by fake news and internet trolls. "The situation for me and other intellectuals is so dangerous now."
She thinks India is experiencing a kind of civil war, all the while presenting itself on the world stage as an economic superpower. "But India is colonizing itself. The army and paramilitary organizations are waging war against the poorest," she said.

At the end of the evening, the audience looked a bit shocked. The violence and divisions in present-day India don't seem to have been on the radar for many. But the mood lightens when an excerpt about love was read from Roy's new book. It is a novel, after all.

Ravi Krishna said...

How do you compare Arundhati with Dr. Hoodbhoy and Husain Haqqani. thanks.

Riaz Haq said...

RK: "How do you compare Arundhati with Dr. Hoodbhoy and Husain Haqqani. thanks."

I see some similarities between Arundhati Roy and Pervez Hoodbhoy. They are both staunch liberal critics of their societies and countries' policies. The difference between them is that Hoodbhoy hardly ever criticizes the policies of the West while Arundhati does so frequently.

Husain Haqqani, on the other hand, has no convictions of his own. He's essentially an opportunist who has been with left, right and center of the political spectrum in Pakistan at different times. And now he's serving his foreign masters and their think tanks in Washington. You can read my views of him here:

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian musician AR Rahman asked to go to #Pakistan for his comment on #GauriLankeshMurdered #BJP … via @IndianExpress

When AR Rahman expressed his opinion on the murder of Benguluru based journalist Gauri Lankesh and said that is not his India, he was trolled on social media and asked to go to Pakistan. One Twitter user said AR Rahman showed his true colours and that India gave him fame and status.

In the current climate, it is dangerous for a public figure to voice an opinion. No matter what they say, there are always thousands of people who disagree with them. This disagreement turns into vile abuse and unlimited trolling on social media due to the anonymity the platforms provide. When ace music composer AR Rahman was asked what he thought of the cold-blooded murder of Bengaluru based journalist Gauri Lankesh at the premiere of his upcoming film One Heart: The AR Rahman Concert Film, he answered, ” If these things happen in India, then it is not my India. I want my India to be progressive and kind.”
The answer ended up evoking varied response from Twitterati and some of them were vile and nothing could justify the trolling that followed. Rahman was trolled right, left and centre on Facebook and Twitter. As it goes with Muslims taking a stand in a public domain, Rahman was asked to go to Pakistan in no time. One Twitter user did not even take the name of the country he was asking Rahman to go to. He merely insinuated and said, “Then go to your Country!!”

One other said that Rahman had started showing his true colours after all, “Till yesterday it was ur India which gave u fame and status. now one murder and its not ur India.cheapster.dats ur true color.”

Julian Sheth said...

May be Pakistan is the only exception. However, everywhere else voices are more extreme, racial, vulgar and bigoted on social media. Shooting out messages with malice seems lot easier, comfortable and without fear of repurcussions on the internet. That's a trend that's bound to get worse, my friend!