Sunday, September 15, 2019

A primer of Muslim names, Islamic terms and Urdu words for journalists, writers


It is the basic rule of journalism to ask a person--his name, how he or she spell it, how it's pronounced.

If someone's name is Hamid, you call him 'Hamid' as in 'Haamid', NOT Hameed.

Both are different names. Journalists, writers are supposed to know it. That's too basic, too simple.

And, for those born and brought up in India, who have lived here, and could pronounce Jean and Jose, perfectly, but don't know Rashid and Rasheed are different names, write 'Hazi' or 'Burkha', don't even know dictionaries in Roman exist, a primer needed.

*It is Burqa, not Burkha. If you aren't comfortable how to speak certain letters (Kaaf and Qaaf) you can at least write, correctly. No! There are hundreds of such words in newspapers. On TV channels, anchors act is if they are from another planet, especially, when they take Muslim names.

This will start from tomorrow: It will be quite long, will be constantly updated.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Photo that shows Hindu-Muslim bonding, brotherhood has taken social media by storm: Communal Harmony Project-48

This photograph has just gone viral on the internet. 

So many people are sharing it on social media, admiring it.

Of course, no caption is needed for the photo. It shows two processions passing by a route and the participants meeting, greeting the other(s)

There are positive vibes that come out. It all looks so good, almost surreal. 

That's different from another parallel world where even an advertisement that gives a message of brotherhood, can lead to people calling for boycott of brands.

Frankly, there are still lot of mixed localities in most cities in India. There are committees that organise events, take processions and have members of different communities in them. 

And, there are organisations, peace committees, where too they interact, support each others in events. Culturally too Muslims visit many Hindu functions and Hindus visit many Muslim events.

Just that we must share these stories and pictures as much as possible. It is learnt that this photo is from Silwassa. The Muharram procession and the Ganesha procession were passing through the same road. 

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project]

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Power of Propaganda: How lies about Hindu-Muslim population in India, Pakistan post-partition are considered 'true'

The power of propaganda is such that people don't even think twice before peddling fake information and rather than facts, rely on WhatsApp forwards.

To say that Hindus-Sikhs formed 23% population in Pakistan and in the last seventy odd years they have reduced to 1.6% is just one of the several such false stories that are fed daily to people.

It is like someone saying that Punjab had 53.2% Muslims before partition and now there are not even 2% Muslims in Punjab. No, this was the population of undivided Punjab, not Indian Punjab and after partition Muslims left from this state, just like Hindus and Sikhs came to India from Sindh and Punajb in Pakistan.

This figure of 23% includes West and East Pakistan, Bangladesh got separated in 1971. The truth is that Hindus were 1.3% in Pakistan (this part, that was earlier called Western Pakistan) in 1951. The population has seen an increase to 1.85%.

The Hindu population in present day's Pakistan [West Pakistan] was 1.3% in 1951, 1.4% in 1961 and 1.6% in 1998. Now it is around 1.85%. You can check NewsLaundry report too for the statistics in this regard.

This is close to percentage of Sikhs in India. In India, percentage of Sikh and Christian population has been going down. But this is due to different factors. In Jammu, Muslims formed a majority before partition but now they are a minority because of the killings that are less talked about.

Propaganda, falsehoods are spread with a motive, they help parties in their agenda. It is aimed at justifying hate against Muslims in India and pushing Islamaphobia further, so that victimhood could be instilled in Hindus & this hate can fetch votes.

Statistics are available but little attention is paid. Who cares when you have info reaching your inbox, the Whatsapp messages or the forwards. But facts are sacred. And every country must take care of its minorities.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Remember freedom fighters' sacrifice, their struggle for independence, stop hate and save the nation: Communal Harmony Project-47


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Can we look at them from a religious prism?

Who can dare do that? These are our heroes, the men who gave away their lives for the cause of India's independence.

Their idealism, their hope, their immense courage resulted in awakening of masses in the country.

They represent our freedom movement, the shared heritage, the combined struggle, they symbolise our unity. Just don't fritter away this great legacy.

We must corner, shame those who spread hate and divide people among religions. Be proud of our common heritage, spread love and brotherhood, harmony, save the country.

Today, as we see hate, communalism and religious divide, people spreading false messages and targeting each other, it is all the more a reason to remember their sacrifices. For the freedom fighters, their identity as an Indian was more important.

They gave their precious lives for the sake of freedom. We need to confront hate, take the hate-mongers head on and fight. We need to live up to the ideals of the freedom fighters whose struggle gave us independence.

Take a pledge, shame those around you who divide people on communal lines. Speak forcefully about unity, defend the 'other', take stand for everybody. This will be the biggest service to the nation and also to those who died just because we could live in freedom.

We need social movement, must shame those who create divide or talk ill of others. It is a fact that hate speech & attacking others on religious lines hurts people, weakens the country. Shun people who do it, make it 'un-cool' again. Stop hate. Save India.

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project]

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India

Friday, September 06, 2019

Islamophobia in Hindi newspapers: Dainik Bhaskar front page report reveals bigotry under the garb of journalism

How prejudices get reflected into newspapers, a lot is subtle or clever.

On Teacher's day, Hindi paper Dainik Bhaskar interviewed Yuval Noah Harari as Page 1 lead.

Reporter questions him about threat of technology getting into hands of 'Islamic nationalists and terrorists'?

If paper feels that 'nationalism' (or ultra-nationalism) is bad, then it has to be all nationalism, why just 'Islamic nationalism'. And if it is Terror, then do you link it just with one ideology or faith? Trying to push own agenda!

You are well aware of White nationalism, if extremism is concerned, you have the neo-Nazis and racists who are behind most shootings in USA. Even if one person pushes own agenda, Islamophobia, then where is the desk? On front page, a mass circulating Hindi paper, lets anything go

What context? Not the first incident. But must be a test case & for future as well. Serious lapse. Perhaps, when papers don't have diversity in newsrooms, it happens. Lapse. But, there are sub-editor, news editor for this!!!

If you claim to be India's top Hindi paper, at least, have basic understanding. Name all, Jew-Hindu-Islamic-Christian-Sikh-Buddhist-Jain, if you have to name. Or if you want to link it with just one faith and show bigotry, then let us be clear. Wonder if you will explain!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Petition asks Twitter to stop hate peddlers involved in Nazi style propaganda and spreading fake news in India

This petition puts on record the failure of Twitter to act against serial hate peddlers who spread Nazi style propaganda against minorities.

Forget banning or disabling their accounts, Twitter doesn't even remove the tweets, either because they are either 'influential' or support the ruling party in India.

The petition demands that Twitter India must act against these serial offenders who push false stories and repeatedly exposed by police officials, authorities. Yet, Twitter refuses to act against them.

"These handles that have huge followers, constantly indulge in spreading lies, fake news and manufactured information to spread discord. Even though such misinformation is causing mob attacks and lynchings, Twitter fails to even remove the tweet, let alone ban the user", says the petition.

"In the latest incident, activist Saket Gokhale has made a formal complaint to the Delhi police regarding Madhu Kishwar's objectionable tweet. She has been spreading fake news that has the potential to damage communal harmony and social fabric in India".

"Shockingly, people who even give an open call to economically boycott Muslims in India, a statement that is against the law of the land too, and violates constitutional provisions, face no action on Twitter".

"In the past, such propaganda, demonizing minorities and hate has led to Rwanda genocide. In recent years, we saw killings in Myanmar. Yet, Twitter fails to even act despite hundreds of people reporting these tweets."

"Independent fact-checkers have repeatedly exposed the people who are misusing the platform. These tweets make way to people's phones through screenshots, in WhatsApp, and go to rural areas where there is no system to debunk them or find their veracity".

Sign and Support the Petition:

LINK: Twitter must stop supporting hate peddlers who indulge in Nazi style propaganda in India

For more info, do read the background.

Fake News, Propaganda and Hate: Twitter gives them free run