In his primetime programme on Wednesday evening that some believe constitutes an act “prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”, Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary used a diagram to break down the many ways he alleged Muslims are waging “jihad” on Hindus in India.
Chaudhary claimed there was “hard” and “soft” jihad. The first category, the anchor alleged, included “population jihad”, “love jihad” and “land jihad”. “Soft jihad” included “economic jihad”, “history jihad” and “media jihad”.
Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code relates to “promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.
Chaudhary then went on to focus on “zameen jihad”, or land jihad, claiming, “Some people are playing the trick of capturing the government’s land to change the population in terms of religion.” He added that “Islamists” are even trying to “change the religion of land, jungles and rivers”.
These ridiculous allegations were cheerfully received on the internet by Hindutva supporters, including Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Jammu and Kashmir, Nirmal Singh.
But others called out the programme’s dog-whistle politics. One user drew a comparison to Radio Rwanda and its complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
YouTuber Dhruv Rathee took a dig at Chaudhary’s history of being sent to Tihar jail in 2012 on charges of that he and a colleague had attempted to extort Rs 100 crore from Congress MP Naveen Jindal in exchange for their silence about his company’s alleged involvement in a coal block allocation case.
Others had a field day ridiculing Chaudhary’s flowchart.
One user created a similar chart showing the several ways “brokers” cosy up to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government.
The user divided “dalaal”, in this case meaning broker for the government, into two groups: “hard” and “soft”. The former group includes “Tukde Tukde gang”, “nano chip in currency notes”. The latter includes “Ram Mandir” and “anti-government is anti-national”.