Uyghur Muslim women in the Grand Bazaar in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China
Uyghur Muslim women in the Grand Bazaar in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China | Flickr/David Stanley
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China ko Musalmano se itni nafrat kyun hai (Why does China hate Muslims so much)?” asked India TV in the first week of July. The anchor was referring to the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, China. The question, which has been asked by many TV anchors in the past week, is legitimate, and the answer is a rather harrowing one.

But what must be noted is that these very TV channels have for long remained tightlipped about the atrocities committed against Muslims in India.

But most Indian TV channels have always preferred zooming into the atrocities against Muslims in Xinjiang. It again turned to the plight of the Uyghur Muslims as China clashed with India at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The latest coping mechanism of chest-thumping channels after having cheered Chinese app ban seems to be the re-focus on Uyghurs in China.

In a ‘special investigation’ conducted by India Today last week, anchor Rahul Kanwal brought his viewers satellite images from ‘concentration camps’ in China’s Xinjiang province. Kanwal explained that these camps had proliferated at a ‘mind-boggling pace’.

Keeping aside the findings of this investigation, what stands to be the most ‘mind-boggling’ fact is the Indian media’s double standards.

Hypocrisy died a new death when India TV’s anchor Ajay Kumar said, “China ke musalmano ko dharmic azaadi nahi hai,” (China’s Muslims don’t have religious freedom).

While Muslims in India do have religious freedom, many fear for their safety in these polarised times — something that most Indian TV channels conveniently choose to not document.

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Kumar found it easier to pin the blame of not speaking up for the Uyghurs on Pakistan — “Pakistan Uyghur Muslim ke masle par virodh nahi karta” (Pakistan doesn’t object to the atrocities perpetrated on Uyghur Muslims). Isn’t that just convenient?

In a brazen attempt to compare Chinese President Xi Jinping to Adolf Hitler, India Today chose to call it ‘Xi-tler’s demographic genocide of Uyghur Muslims’. Rahul Kanwal labelled these atrocities as the ‘greatest genocide of 21st century’. Such condemnations have not been used for any wrongs in India by these TV channels. Be it excesses in Jammu and Kashmir or lynchings or daily stigmatization of Muslims or discriminatory laws like the CAA.

The idea is not to compare the cruelties faced by Uyghur Muslims to the plight of Indian Muslims. Rather it is a call to question and investigate oppression of minorities everywhere. And we should start with our own country.


Also read: China didn’t spare the Uyghurs even in times of pandemic, pushed them to Covid frontlines


The newsworthy ‘peg’

The relevance and importance of a news ‘peg’ is journalism 101. The peg is essentially the hook behind each story, that determines how newsworthy something is. There is considerable merit behind exploring why a story is chosen to be told at a certain point of time. It reveals the politics behind an otherwise ‘objective’ report or news story.

The Uyghur Muslims story is not new. There have been several terrifying accounts of the hardships faced by the Uyghurs at the hands of the Chinese government. Over one million Uyghurs have reportedly been detained in these detention camps for apparent ‘re-education’. Among the first reports of this crackdown on Uyghur Muslims dates back to 2018. And there have been many gruesome developments since then — from getting detained for wearing a veil or browsing foreign websites, to forced sterilisation.

International media has been pretty consistent in reporting on this issue. Which brings us to the question of why the Indian media is covering the Uyghur story again now. It seems like no coincidence that our media is sensationalising an issue that is a sore spot for China, a country that India currently stands at loggerheads with. It is an outright attempt to take away attention from our own problems — the mounting coronavirus cases, the long road to solving the China border issue, and our government’s silence on whether China has taken Indian land or not.


Also read: Chinese threat is unlikely to go away. India needs big plans for LAC to save its land


Irony of outrage over China

There now stands a rather large elephant in the room — the newsroom, if you will.

If the discrimination against an ethnic minority in China is so intolerable to the Indian media, what is stopping them from speaking up about the oppression of Muslims in India today?

The Indian media blames Muslims for all issues, from violent riots to spreading Covid-19. Muslims in the country today have felt targeted by the current political dispensation.

This must haunt news anchors when they describe detention camps in Xinjiang, China. Especially when there are detention centres coming up in Assam.

The job of the media is to continuously question — things happening at home and the world. But to mostly peddle one side of the story in India and accuse China is not fair journalism.

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28 Comments Share Your Views

28 COMMENTS

  1. Try Chinese that Muslims need 4 wives and 15 Children as per Quran. Chinese will first concede other pronouncements in Quran like Public Flogging, Limb Chopping before the concede Muslim demand for more than one child, Halala or Inatant Divorce. Honestly, India should have been a Muslim Free Nation after 1947.

    What Muslims do here because of emergence of Muslims Parties masquerading as National Parties, they can’t even dare that in China

  2. Try Chinese that Muslims need 4 wives and 15 Children as per Quran. Chinese will first concede other pronouncements in Quran like Public Flogging, Limb Chopping before the concede Muslim demand for more than one child, Halala or Inatant Divorce. Honestly, India should have been a Muslim Free Nation after 1947.

    What Muslims do here because of emergence of Muslims Parties masquerading as National Parties, they can’t even dare that in China

    Now for your education, this what China does as its State Policy..it is from International Press.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/china-uighur-monitor-home-shared-bed-report-2019-11%3famp

  3. There is nothing wrong about Indian Muslims. They are a pampered lot. So there is need for TV anchors to show outrage. TV anchors are justified in using anything against a sworn enemy country. They don’t have to be fair to the enemy. You are promoting exclusivism of Indian Muslims by nurturing the idea that they are an oppressed lot. Don’t do it. Has India done anything comparable to what China has done to Uyghur Muslims?

  4. The worst genocide was of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir that too in a secular country. The anchors consider CAA discriminatory knowing fairly well that the country got partitioned on the basis of religion. With large population of poor people with severe pressure on employment how can we grant citizenship to Muslims from pakistan and Banladesh when the have got their share of assets.
    Kashmir genocide needs to be highlighted every time as lacs of people lost their ancestral home and the community got disseminated.

  5. Oh! the Uyghur story is not new and has been steadily covered by international media??!! really! really! which international media exactly are you talking about? No. no international news media has covered the plight of the Uyghurs until very recently. Yes, they are all doing it for their own convenience. Covid has made the world go against China, not that I blame the world. China is at fault for not being transparent about it and thereby unleashing this horrid virus everywhere. But, more to the point, what amazes me is journos like you who blatantly lie – like saying international media has steadily covered the Uyghur’s crisis. But this is exactly how agenda driven supposed journos like you talk utter nonsense and what’s more – wanna be elitists believe this crap that is routinely churned out. No country is perfect and things can definitely improve. yes. But, that does not mean you distort reality and exaggerate claims that can do some real damage. So once again I say, Shut up.

  6. Dear author/journo. Please don’t write anymore. No seriously. People like you take up valuable print space online when someone more discerning and objective can write on things in a far better way. In short. Shut up. Just plain shut up.

  7. my comment hasn’t been posted for asking simple question. No abuse or profanity. Am I still in India? Why this intolerance by ThePrint!

  8. How much money got from China and the jihadis…for writing this trash Kairvy…? Sold your conscience for what…?

  9. What do you suggest – how do gov. deport illegal foreigners? I feel frustrated everytime I hear resemblance of Assam’s detention centres with Chinese re-education camps or Nazi extermination centres. This is what best lib media could do?

  10. The most biased article I have ever seen.
    On one hand the author says that Muslims in India have all the freedom in the world or the other hand says that they are afraid.
    So mostly the problem must lie in that communities brain as they feel oppressed as long as they are not in majority.
    Disgusting!!

  11. Difficult not to feel sorry for the war boy anchors striding into their studios each evening, humming Izzat watan ki hum se hai under their breath. Ladakh is asking them to define where their true loyalties lie.

  12. Kairvy, you are trying very hard to equate the Indian majority with the Chinese govt.

    May be you are eyeing that exalted status of Indian journos – when they aid minorities & add Dalits plus tribals to this group to provide greater legitimacy.

    In the bargain, you are actually accusing & abusing the aam Aadmi of the majority for a crime he or she isn’t committing at all, because for almost all of them, there is no difference amongst fellow citizens.

    You can’t accuse an entire majority for sins of the fringe – and fringe elements thrive in every country.

    In China, the govt itself is the fringe ! By your convoluted logic, the Indian majority is the fringe !
    Wow, really, Kairvy ?

    Such grossly misjudged narratives will however take you to the top in Pakistani or other anti-india media.

    Is this what you want ? Abuse you own & climb up on their shoulders ?

  13. What kind of atrocities are being committed against muslims? Are they being deprived of their way of life. are they being deprived of following their culture, their religion. Are they being deprived of livelihood by the govt, on the basis of them being Muslims. The writer is simply being preposterous in thinking. Yes, there is politics, which have created gap between some hindus and muslims. This gap was always there. During the reign of the Congies, it was the other way round. Where some hindus were getting wrong end of the stick. Muslims had strong political backing then. They continue to have strong political backing from those opposing the present dispensation. Thats how democaracy works. Political parties will work for their respective interest groups. It does not mean they will ignore other groups. I fail to understand, how political differences, especially in a democracy, means ENIMITY. So lets not compare whats happening to Muslims in China with happenings here in India.

  14. I recently read the birth rate of muslims in China dropped by 25, 40%. Lets talk when such thing happen in India. Also I wonder how many articles has this author has written about Pakistan Hindus who can’t even build a temple and cremation ground in Islamabad. Why world has been quiet about it?

  15. KAIRVY GREWAL – pls pls pls take your medication regular. Also, here are some of the tips keeping un-affected by lockdown effects…

  16. Another news trader who begrudges those in her profession more talented and successful than her. Irony died a thousand deaths when so called secualr journalists in India lament about the plight of Muslims in a democracy with an independent judiciary like India but remain silent of the systematic persecution of Hindus in not just neighbouring Islamic majority nations but even in Muslim majority Kashmir valley where over 2 lakh Kashmiri Hindus were victims of ethnic genocide. The so called Secular media hasn’t just whitewashed these atrocities but actively worked to justify and condone these persecutions!

    Today the same hypocrites oblivious of their own willful myopia and nefarious agenda try to edify their peers about hypocrisy and irony!

  17. “Charity begins at home”. India must first look into despicable situations of Indian minority, where being Muslim is increasingly seen as crime.

  18. TV anchors outrage over Uyghurs in China, but stay quiet about Indian Muslims

    Yes. Because Indian Muslims are not in concentration camps, or forced to shave beards or not allowed to wear Niqab.

  19. Ek baar ek ladki thi….. Usko kaanta chubh gaya…. Usne hospital phone lagaya aur boli… Emergency hai… Need immediate medical attention …send the helicopter now to Air lift me. Hospital walon ne poocha kya hua hai? To wo chillane lagi aur gusse me boli… “Don’t you send helicopters when people get hurt badly and need emergency care…. I too am hurt badly! ”

    You article suffers from exactly the same problem as described in the incident above….. List down the action which Chinese state government has taken to “control” the muslims…. And now list down what indian government has done. There is nothing comparable… No maulavis have been made to dance in india…. No musalmaan has been stopped from 5 times namaaz…..and many more to list down when you try to compare and list down the state declared acts in the name of controlling “them”

    Blowing up the regular tiffs in india (these have been there for last 1000 years in some or other form in Indian subcontinent) and equating it to Chinese state declared act of controlling the muslims is exactly same as saying that I am badly hurt and need an emergency evacuation…. Because…. “Kaanta laga” is not same as “Goli lagi”

  20. KAIRVY GREWAL JI,

    Hypocrisy ki bhi seema hoti hi…..

    Indian Muslims are well saved and protected in India and they will enjoy the democracy under Indian Law till times live.

    Regards,

  21. How many times the author Grewal has criticized Muslims of Pakistan and supported Hindus of Pakistan and Afghanistan ?

  22. Wirh this article, The Print has relaunched its leftist pro-Islamic divisive campaign.
    Did you receive fresh instructions from your Chinese paymasters?

  23. Author clearly lacks the facts on the ground.

    An Arab Muslim say mazar maqbara is our identity where is kagaz of majority community.

    An Arab Muslim says 25 crores will outmaneuver 100 crores.

    An Arab Muslim say leave police for 15 mins and see what we will do.

    2 lac Arab Muslim take out janaza for terrorist who killed mumbaikars in Mumbai.

    Thousand of Arab Muslim desecrate jawan jyoti in support of rohingyas and riot at azad maidan.

    Arab Muslim openly offer namaz in road railway stations and wherever they can get space defying civic norms and court orders.

    Arab Muslim mosques offer namaz through loudspeakers defying court orders.

    These are the specifics, facts on the ground to counter your cabal peddling as journalism.

    In all these instance enlighten your readers how Arab Muslim are oppressed in India.

    If you some journalistic integrity left offer an apology or do journalism a favor by leaving it.

  24. Please publish a photo of this writer as well. People should know how many snakes are being fed within our countries. These quislings give journalism a bad name.

  25. Situation is exactly the opposite of what is mentioned in this article.

    Find the odd one out w.r.t outrage among left leaning media professionals:
    – Kashmiris
    – Palestinians
    – Rohingyas
    – Black population of America
    – Uighurs

    Answer: Uighurs. Why? Because they don’t want to betray the imagined ideological mothership i.e. Communist China

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