Monday, 8 August, 2022
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Mirror Now on Munawar arrest, India Today on the implications of Jack Ma ‘missing’ 

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Two days ago, standup comedian Munawar Faruqui was arrested by the Indore Police, after his show was halted in the city following allegations that he insulted religious sentiments of Hindus. This claim has since been refuted by many audience members.

Mirror Now discussed the case and addressed the issues of liberty and freedom of speech.

“Liberty is important but responsibility is more important. Creativity is important but sensitivity is more important,” social activist Rahul Easwar argued. “There is no ‘right to offend’ in the Indian constitution. Right to express should have a ‘Laxman Rekha’.”

To which, senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Sanjay Hegde, hit back, “All laws are becoming instruments to indulge in vigilante justice. It is like you make a harsh law and apply it selectively on people you don’t like.”

“If a citizen feels that his religious sentiments are hurt, he has a right to approach the police and file an FIR. Comedians like Faruqui and Kunal Kamra need to understand that they can’t be making disparaging comments against Hindu deities,” BJP’s Tuhin Sinha said.

 

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has been missing and was last seen in October — soon after he publicly criticised China’s state financial system. India Today’s Shiv Aroor discussed the issue and its implications.

“I can’t imagine any big American tycoon disappearing for two months, not being seen,” senior fellow at Observer Research Foundation Sushant Sareen said. Strategic Affairs Expert Brahma Chellaney noted, “Jack Ma is the face of new China, his disappearance will have a chilling effect on the private sector.”

“China is already a country straight out of Geirge Orwell’s 1984 — with their surveillance and targeting of minorities,” Sareen added.

NDTV 24/7 focused on the Covid-19 vaccines with anchor Vishnu Som on ‘Left, Right, and Centre’. Som asked whether Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin being given clearance without crucial efficacy data was the right decision taken.

Dr. Faheem Younus of the University of Maryland responded, saying a “vaccine is all about quality, safety, and trust”. He added that vaccination should not be about politics but rather constant transparency on the government’s part.

Senior Congress leader Milind Deora addressed the issue saying, “I am glad that politicians are debating public health. This is a welcome change from debates on caste and religion.”

Defending the move, BJP leader Tuhin Sinha commented, “If you look at the Phase 3 trial of Covaxin, no one reported any adverse effect. There is no harm in giving restrictive approval to Covaxin.”

On Zee News, anchor Aman Chopra spoke on the #Hindusforgranted and asked whether “insulting Hindu deities has become a trend now”. This was in light of comedian Munawar Faruqui’s arrest.

“Is it that without insulting Hindu deities one cannot venture into comedy or is it a shortcut adopted by new age comedians?” Chopra asked comedian Raju Srivastav.

Srivastav responded, “First of all, I want to thank everyone who took this action against Faruqui as an investigation on him was overdue. The problem with Hindus is that they tolerate such insults. One should ask Faruqui if he has ever targeted his own religion as part of some skit.”

Chopra further brought in Maulana Ali Qadri and asked him, “When Mata Sita is insulted then Hindu’s should follow due procedure prescribed by the court of law, but if someone challenges Mohammed then how does he deserve to be slaughtered?”

Qadri responded, “Whether it’s a voice against Ram or whether it’s against Mohammed, all should be investigated and punished but such an issue should not be tied with religion so closely.”

On News Nation, anchor Deepak Chaurasia debated whether due to the farmers’ protest, the entire system was being hijacked with respect to the Reliance Jio towers being vandalised in Punjab.

On the panel discussion was the channel’s editorial director Manoj Gairola. “When our reporters went to the field today and they asked the protesting farmers who told you Reliance (Jio) is trying to buy your land or cause you harm. The farmers replied that they got to know through their netas…There is clearly some vested interest here,” he alleged.

Farmer Kripal Singh said that the protesters directed not to indulge in such vandalism. “We had said don’t break these towers (Jio Towers in Punjab). Children’s education was being impacted (due to no data connection),” Singh said. “We then told people to port their numbers to other service providers so that they don’t face any difficulties.”

Gairola then accused Singh of being aware of the protesters’ move to destroy the towers. Singh denied the charges and clarified that he had only made the call to change service providers after the towers had already been broken down despite his appeals.

With inputs from Saumya Sharma

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