India’s mainstream media’s obsession to maintain its facade of secularism can often have some strange — and hilarious — consequences.
India Today’s Data Intelligence Unit Today uploaded a graphic around how the Tablighi Jamaat meeting had led to the rapid growth of Covid-19 cases in India. The graphic superimposed what looked like a Muslim man in a skullcap with pie charts for eyes, which showed the percentage of cases that were attributed to the Tablighi Jamaat. The Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic organization, and it the graphic lucidly showed how the group had caused the number of coronavirus cases in India to spiral.
But the graphic raised the ire of India’s secular liberals, who began attacking India Today for its supposed Islamophobia.
Within minutes, India Today anchor Rahul Kanwal had deleted his tweet with the infographic.
Kanwal later clarified that the graphic had been deleted because it had a mistake. “One of the data figures is wrongly represented. 1162 is written on both sides,” he wrote on Twitter.
But when India Today re-uploaded the graphic a while later, it was obvious what had really changed. The design of the skullcap was removed, which made the person in the graphic now have a non-specific religious identity.
56% of new #CoronaVirus cases reported in India over past 72 hours can be traced back to Tablighi Jamaat. This is India’s version of South Korea’s Shincheonji Church of Jesus which led to 7000+ cases in that country. Jamaat responsible for 28% of India’s overall cases so far. pic.twitter.com/sfuXbdBw6H
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) April 4, 2020
It took barely an hour for India Today to bow down before Islamists, but in the past they haven’t been quite so charitable towards other religions. In the past, Rahul Kanwal’s colleague Rajdeep Sardesai has shared pictures complete with the Hindu swastika, and superimposed the Nazi salute on them.
But India Today presumably considers this representation to be perfectly alright. Which is just as well — the version of secularism that India’s left-liberals adhere has never claimed to be about equality of religions — it focuses on the appeasement of one religion over all else.