If Sudhir Chaudhary peddled 13 kinds of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ jihad on Zee News to demonise the Muslim community, it offered him several more — from ‘husn jihad’ to ‘chai jihad’ and ‘egg jihad’.
In his primetime show Wednesday evening, Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary used a ‘flow-chart’ to describe to his viewers the various kinds of ‘jihad’.
It’s another matter that the ‘flow-chart’ itself was plagiarised from a five-year-old post from a Facebook page, Boycott Hallal In India, which posts conspiracy theories. But who cares for facts when fake news and bigotry can garner rich dividends in TRPs. Certainly not Times Now or Republic TV.
Apart from being called out for his apparent ‘Radio Rwanda levels of dog whistling’, Chaudhary’s show on ‘zameen jihad’ also invited, aptly, calls for his prosecution under Section 153A, for creating enmity between communities.
While the show was apparently about encroachment of government land, the channel joined the dots into a grand Islamic conspiracy to marginalise the majority community — the Hindus.
Schooled in jihad
It was not long before Sudhir Chaudhury got properly schooled in the different types of ‘jihads’. Thursday saw #HusnJihad trending on Twitter, and quickly scaling to the top of the charts.
The acerbic vitriol from the day before, and the Delhi riots as well as vicious prime time debates, was countered by netizens posting their own pictures, making sure they tagged Chaudhary.
Muslims pushed back with intelligent, funny and smart comebacks. What emerged was a confident community willing to engage but not ready to be used as communal fodder.
Unlike what some — Chaudhary included — would like you to believe, the trend was led by Muslim women, whose freedom and agency within the community has recently been questioned a lot.
Turning the narrative around
Like Chaudhary’s flow chart, #HusnJihad soon made way for #PetrolJihad, #EggJihad, #DubaiJihad, #ChaiJihad and not be left behind, the panacea for all ills — hate, communalism, bigotry and even lumpen journalism — #FoodJihad.
Wit and clean humour emerged as the weapon of choice for Muslims being abused for electoral gains. It was only apt that the community chose to turn the narrative around and own it.
Some valuable takeaways for Chaudhary
When #HusnJihad started trending
Muslims are also doing #HusnJihad
— Saniya Sayed (@Ssaniya25) March 12, 2020
Muslim Twitter thirst traps were not to be left behind
— Iqra Khilji (@Iqra_K_) March 12, 2020
Since Kashmir and Kashmiris have been the favourite punching bag of Chaudhary, their picture was but obvious
— Saniya Sayed (@Ssaniya25) March 12, 2020
With Muslim men lately earning the sobriquet of wife-deserters (when PM Narendra Modi had to finally step in to help his sisters through the triple talaq bill), some couples shared their love with Chaudhary
— Irshan Ali (@IamIrshanAli) March 12, 2020
The beard, the dreaded moustacheless beard was not to be left behind. Some even doubled the fun for Chaudhary
— Owais Khursheed (@owaiskhursheed5) March 12, 2020
Soon other trends started picking up too.
Perhaps in a veiled dig at Chai Pe Charcha, some shared #ChaiJihad
Tihari Sudhir Chaudhary : Chai Jihad pic.twitter.com/0NfE1onCHw
— Saniya Sayed (@Ssaniya25) March 11, 2020
Dubai, a Muslim majority state, where Chaudhary was a recent traveller, found mention in #DubaiJihad.
— ⓢⓗⓐⓑⓑⓘⓡ ⓢⓐⓡⓚⓐⓡ (@shabbir_sarkar) March 12, 2020
For the Giriraj Singh fans, there was #EggJihad
Shakshouka ! The extreme form of Egg🥚Jihad.
Super Yummy 😘 pic.twitter.com/ls3VETeGNa
— Look at YOU (@IDLInation) March 12, 2020
Others went for #PetrolJihad
Means all ‘nationalists’ should boycott Gulf oil https://t.co/PRqwwPBztJ
— Chirpy Says (@IndianPrism) March 12, 2020
And how can we forget ‘love jihad’, the substance of so many prime time debates. So it was time for Twitterati to remind Chaudhary of his Pakistan association
— Arhaan Khan (@arhaan54) March 12, 2020
With CAA in the news, how could #CitizenshipJihad be left behind
Citizenship Jihad Sudhir Yes bank wale..😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/rEdJBt7YT6
— संस्कारज़म #धौनीयन्स (@Being_Sanskaari) March 12, 2020
Since it was all about schooling Chaudhary, there was also some #DegreeJihad.
— ALHABIBI (@alhabibi9412) March 12, 2020
The bad taste that Chaudhary’s show may have left in our mouth was soon forgotten with the witty retorts to his show. While the show producers may have thought of pushing the Muslims to the wall, the community along with others pushed back and finally owned Chaudhary.