On the eve of Delhi Polls, Zee News’ editor, Sudhir Chaudhary’s moving rant against the so-called, freeloader voters of Delhi, went viral. He was criticised by a section of social media.
He blamed the ‘freebie culture’ of the Aam Aadmi Party for their unbelievable winning streak. Taking a dig at the voters, he said that people have voted based on local issues, like quality education, cheap electricity, water and healthcare. And that they do not care if the Mughal rule returns, they do not care about 370, Ram Mandir, and nationalism.
Intensifying the attack, he even brought Imran Khan and Pakistan into the picture; his regular, and perhaps favourite subject of analysis. He claimed that if PTI offers such freebies to the voters of Delhi, they’ll vote for it too! The IT cell trolls religiously took down notes and bashed the Delhi voters on the blueprint set up by Zee News.
Two days after the free-loader lamentation, on 12th February, Mr Chaudhary came up with another DNA test to analyse the shocking results. And now, by this DNA analysis, he seemed to think it was clear that Modi lost Delhi because of MUSLIMS.
This time he spared the imagined “wine drinkers” who not only “on an average earn three times more than most Indians from other states but also love freebies over Nationalism” as per Sudhir. Refer to his viral video, from 9th February; DNA analysis, post the exit polls were aired. Also, take note, Muslims do not usually drink.
It seems that Mr Chaudhary cannot accept that there are extremely poor Delhiites who dwell in slums and are forced to live a horrible life even after six years of PM Modi’s “achche din”.
Besides showing ‘a mirror to the freeloaders of Delhi’, Sudhir loves to name and even invent new social phenomena. After using words like “Tukde-Tukde gang” and “Designer Patrakar”, this time he has given the theory of “Reverse polarisation”. He has found this term for one of his most beloved subjects for these daily Mengele’s DNA experiments: the Muslims.
In his fiery anchor piece, he grieved that: “During the election campaign, it was alleged time and again that BJP has polarised Hindus on Shaheen Bagh. People thought that Hindus will vote for the BJP. The results tell us a different tale. Instead of Hindus, this campaign polarised Muslim votes. This is the most important case study of India’s politics…Manish Sisodia who fought the election on development issues could manage to win by a narrow margin whereas the candidate from Okhla constituency, Amanatullah Khan, a person who gave hate speeches full of vitriol won by a whopping margin of 71000 votes. And Shaheen comes under Okhla constituency. This election was full of hate-mongering. Both sides spewed hatred. However, politicians like Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur were not able to unite Hindu while people like Amanatullah united the Muslim voters. Now the question is: does a party only earns a bad name when Hindus get united? And why those who unite Muslims are not communal.”
Then he goes on to throw numbers to support his arguments. In areas with a large Muslim population, the winning margin between AAP and BJP is 43000 compared to other areas where it is about 21000 in other areas. He names certain areas like Matia mahal, Seelampur, and Okhla: areas with higher voter turnout and a considerable Muslim population. The said constituencies had a higher voter turnout than others.
What Sudheer did not share with the Nation:
The trend on all the seats reserved for SC shows a similar trend. AAP won on all the 12 reserved seats by an average margin of 29,131 votes. What is the reason for this? There may be a multitude of reasons: Ravidas temple demolition, Dalit protests, BJP’s hostility towards Dalit hero Chandrashekhar Ravan and most prominently the poor and pro-Dalit schemes of AAP. Even the highly polarised and communally tense seat of Trilokpuri followed this pattern.
|AAP||Mukesh Kumar Ahlawat||48000||Sultanpur Majra|
|AAP||RAJENDRA PAL GAUTAM||56108||Seemapuri(SC)|
|AAP||RAAJ KUMAR ANAND||30935||PATEL NAGAR(SC)|
|AAP||RAKHI BIRLA||30116||MANGOL PURI(SC)|
|AAP||AJAY DUTT||28327||AMBEDKAR NAGAR(SC)|
|AAP||VISHESH RAVI||31760||KAROL BAGH(SC)|
A further investigation on seats with Sikh dominance also tell us a similar story. These are just four such constituencies. In Hari Nagar, BJP’s star Sikh boy Tajinder Bagga lost to AAP while in Kalkaji, Atishi won by a comfortable margin. Here, she had replaced a strong Sikh candidate who might have won with a far better margin.
|Rajouri Garden||JARNAIL SINGH AAP||28029|
|Tilak Nagar||A DHANWATI CHANDELA A||22972|
|Hari Nagar||RAJ KUMARI DHILLON||20131|
The false binary between Amanatullah and Parvesh
Sudhir ran small clips of two leaders: one MULIM and one HINDU: Amanatullah Khan of AAP and Parvesh Verma of BJP, trying to forge some sort of a binary between minority communalism and majority communalism. But wait, we are not debating which of the two is more dangerous; let’s just find out if Amanatullah spewed hate or not.
This is what he said in the small clipped played by Sudhir:
But inshallah, the writer is Allah. He has decided who will be the King. Allah has decided who will lose. Allah holds the command to destroy whoever he wants. What can we ordinary humans do? Had it been in our command, they’d have crushed us by now. He’s everything. He has decided that these oppressors will fail. They will get destroyed. Their oppression shall end from Okhla. Shaheen Bagh has shown the way. We’ll be the Zariah/medium (ZARIAH not SHARIAH as confirmed by fact-checker Alt news). This fact was ignored.
Amanatullah Khan’s speech was not a hate speech. When did referring to Allah (God) began amounting to Hate speech against Hindus? An attack on Narendra Modi and Amit Shah or any other political opponent is not an attack on religion. Last time I checked Mr Modi was a politician and not a Hindu deity!
After this, Mr Chaudhary played the following remark by BJP’s Parvesh Verma: “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think and make a decision. They’ll enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, and kill them. There’s time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won’t come to save you tomorrow…”
Condemning both the speeches simultaneously he struggles to add credibility to bigotry. He said that both these speeches are democratic but Amanatullah succeeded while Parvesh failed. I fail to see the neutrality here.
Displaying Parvesh as an anomaly or pitting him against a Muslim candidate who has not even remotely said anything anti-Hindu is quite problematic. In fact, Parvesh Verma was not the only one who attacked Muslims. It began with PM Modi’s “identify the rioters by their clothes” remark. His commander in chief Amit Shah and other prominent warriors took the narrative of hate to another level. The fusillade of Islamophobic hatred that followed is known to one and all.
As this analysis proceeds, he feels sorry for Manish Sisodia who despite his development initiatives could only win narrowly. Sudhir forgot that Manish Sisodia said that he stands with Shaheen Bagh. Did this make the Hindus angry? Yes, it certainly did. The BJP IT cell and government parrots in the mainstream media ran a campaign against Sisodia and tied his tongue It was so vicious that Mr Kejriwal had to jump in to do the damage control on the same day by claiming that he’d have evacuated Shaheen Bagh in two hours if he had the control over Delhi police. Sisodia won by a fine margin of over 28,700 votes in the last 2015 polls. Despite his tall stature and development projects which Sudhir also acknowledges Sisodia’s winning margin fell by over 25,000 votes!
There was a thin difference of just 3,000 votes between him and the BJP candidate from Patparganj. Did the Media propaganda against Sisodia succeed? This maybe explains the poor margin of Manish Sisodia. However, Sudhir shaves off the sharp vote share increase of the BJP as a moral victory claim by the losing side. Apart from the aforementioned seats and a few others like Burari where Sanjeev Jha won by a record margin of 88k votes, all the seats had an extremely close run. BJP’s vote share increased starkly on over 63 seats. AAP’s vote share has decreased on 38 seats. Had the congress pursued Delhi Elections a little seriously, the results would have been entirely different. In Najafgarh only BJP’s vote share has shot up by 21%. If BJP’s vote share has hit a new low in Muslim dominated seats, it has made severe penetration in other areas. On almost every seat apart from the above stated seats we can see a similar trend. In Badarpur, BJP where BJP lost in 2015, this time it has won by a stark margin of 50,000 votes.
Meanwhile Sudhir’s other claim that Amanatullah won by a record margin because Muslims voted on communal lines is completely baseless. He won by a record margin of over 64k votes in 2015 as well. To say, that in so called Muslim dominated areas like Mustafabaad (read ghettos) Muslims support only a Muslim candidate has no theoretical grounds. In 2015, Jagdish Pradhan, a BJP candidate, won from the same constituency by a margin of over 6000 votes. The charge that Muslim appeasement by AAP has worked in Delhi stands no ground too.
Who was Kejriwal appeasing?
Like all opposition parties, AAP needs not ask Muslim for their support. The fear mongering and paranoia created by BJP was enough. Kejriwal was appeasing the Hindu voters who vote for AAP in the State polls and BJP at the centre. Why did this not make Muslims of Shaheen Bagh angry? Because Muslims vote for saving their dignity from being attacked so overtly and viciously by BJP leaders.
Kejriwal’s assertion of his Hindu religion, his recitation of Hanuman Chalisa on national TV or his temple visits had no impact on Muslims. Rather many Muslims were happy because they believed that Kejriwal’s assertion of his Hindu identity will promote Hindus to reject the anti-Muslim maraud of the BJP! This demonstrates their desperation and helplessness.
Sudhir then splashes hints from history to appropriate his stance. By these trends in Muslim areas, he is reminded of Jinnah’s separate electorates and communal representation. He conveniently ignores that the BJP has virtually stopped fielding Muslims in state and National elections. BJP has not fielded a single Muslim candidate in Gujarat in the last 25 years. How many Muslims did it field in the Lok Sabha? BJP has had only three Muslim parliamentarians since it started electoral politics. No Muslim has reached Lok Sabha from Gujarat in the last 3 decades. Other states under Modi are no different. In UP polls out of about 400 candidates, there were Muslims. Delhi was no different. When Sudhir ignites the fear of fake separate electorates he must be reminded of how Modi has virtually erased Muslim representation from the political imagination of India particularly the Hindus. India’s Hindus are consciously not told these blunt and raw facts.
As per a survey 69% he quoted, Muslims voted for AAP. They did not vote for congress: a party that has at least pretended to stand against the vicious campaign against them. Many disheartened INC supporters tweeted their dismay at this presumptuousness of the Muslims to abandon the “vocally secular” INC for AAP!
Sudhir is right when he says that the Muslims did not support congress because they wanted BJP to lose. But tell me, why wouldn’t they? It appears that the Muslims desperately wanted the BJP to lose.
Why did the Muslims vote so aggressively against the BJP?
Muslims just like every other Indian or rather Human want to live with respect and dignity. India needs no NRC to make Muslims a second-class citizen. Many Muslims already acknowledge that. Every election is a chance for them to end the attack on their identity.
Who wanted to give an electric shock to them? Which party called them rapists and terrorists? Which party released an entire campaign song against Muslims? Who mocked them on TV? Who said that this is an election between India and Pakistan! Who talked about Goli, boli and Biryani? Who assaulted Jamia and JNU? Who garlanded the people who lynched Muslims? Who killed over 25 anti-CAA Muslim protestors in UP alone? Muslims know the answers! Amit Shah has acknowledged now that remarks like “India Pakistan match” and “goli maaro saalon ko” should not have been made to describe theanti-CAA stir at Shaheen Bagh. And that it might have resulted in BJP’s defeat.” Even Mr Shah who wanted to electrocute Shaheen Bagh has accepted that the ire of Muslims against his party in the polls is reasonable! Sudhir must introspect too!
Several right wing pages like that of Payal Rohatgi ,who regularly peddle fake news and hate news against Muslims have shared this propaganda. Payal should at least learn to pronounce Amanatullah Khan’s name. WhatsApp groups of the IT cell are running the same message. Sudhir’s analysis has only demonstrated the obvious that Muslims did not vote at all for the BJP. But why should they? No party will dare to manhandle upper-caste Hindus, Sikhs, Dalits or any other community in their election campaign to gain Muslim votes like the BJP attacks Muslims to polarise Hindus. Did Sudhir want Muslims to feel the electric shock by pressing the wrong button on the EVM? Sudhir concluded his report by saying that it is the Hindus who are carrying the burden of secularism since 1947. Oh Really?
Mohammad Alishan Jafri, a third-year student of Journalism at Delhi School of Journalism