Thursday, March 16, 2017

Irresponsible journalism: Hindi newspaper Nai Dunia publishes false story about fatwas against teenaged singer

This is an example of what plagues journalism today.

Hindi newspaper Nai Dunia [Nav Dunia in Bhopal], published a false story about '40 fatwas against a Muslim girl' for singing bhajans.

The truth is that there was not even a single fatwa against Nahid Hasan, the teenaged singer.

It seems that the pamphlet in Assamese was not even read correctly.

Earlier, even TV channels had carried the story that the Muslim girl was stopped from singing by Ulema.

Even CM tweeted about it and the imaginary fatwas created outrage. In fact, the pamphlet did not even mention her name. The pramphlet said that events shouldn't be held close to mosques, grave yards et al. reported 'The fatwa against Assamese singer that never was...'. Subsequently, many journalists apologised for the haste and the irresponsible reporting. If there was a pamphlet that objected to holding an event, it should be reported that way only.

Nai Dunia was once considered a respected newspaper in Central India. It is published in both MP and Chhattisgarh. Originally it was named Nai Dunia but after a title dispute, some of its editions are sold by the name 'Nav Dunia. Jagran group has taken it over sometime ago.


The fact remains that any story about 'Fatwa', even if totally imaginary, sends certain media houses into a frenzy.

This is a reflection of the bigotry and inherent biases against Islam and Muslims in the media. However, we stand by Nahid Hasan's right to sing and if there any attempt to stop her freedom to sing, we are against it, and extend our support.

In fact, papers issue fatwas these days. We hope such papers will be careful in future and won't issue 'Fatwas' on their own. Press council must take serious action and stop the channels & papers from imagining, inventing and issuing fatwas