Tablighi Jamaat news is doing the rounds on social media. It has also made national and international headlines. The word ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ is echoing in the news channels. Some news channels reacting as if the Coronavirus came to exist in India due to this religious group. Some media outlets have gone so far to show their stupidity that, if action is taken, they can be dragged into the court.
Tablighi Jamaat controversy
Tablighi Jamaat is in the news because the members of the group were found in a large congregation holding religious activities at Nizamuddin Markaz, Banglawali Masjid. Many people from foreign countries were also involved in the congregation. This was happening at the time when the entire world was adopting self-isolation and social distancing in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Even, Saudi Arabia has completely shut down the holy Mecca mosque.
The Jamaat is defending themselves blaming the Indian government for providing Visas to the people who came from foreign countries during the critical time. They are also saying there was no announcement of lockdown in India when they were holding religious activities in the congregation.
The blame can not justify the mistake they have made by putting the lives of many in danger. Because social distancing was happening even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lockdown announcement. Tablighi jamaat should have also learnt from Saudi Arabia’s decision to close down one of the most visited mosques- Mecca.
The stupidity of media outlets
As soon as the issue came out, all the media outlets including, news channels, newspapers and online media started reporting the issue. There is no wrong reporting the issue because Tablighi Jamaat made a huge mistake.
However, the way media is reporting the issue is disturbing the communal harmony in India. Some media calling it “Corona Jihad” suggest that those who visited the Nizamuddin Markaz were out to poison Hindus. Even, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arwind Kejriwal, has ordered Delhi police to lodge FIR against the Tablighi Jamaat.
Media’s stupidity did not end there. Many media outlets used a picture of a different Maulana (Islamic scholar), who has nothing to do with the Tablighi Jamaat controversy, as Maulana Saad. Yes, you read it right. The media outlets such as Dainik Jagran, Opindia Hindi, Sarkar Daily, Navdaya Times, See Latest and a few others used the picture of Maulana Khalil-ur-Rahman Sajjad Nomani, who is All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) spokesperson as Maulana Saad.
Why I am calling this a stupid act by some journalists because for some reports, they are using Maulana Saad’s picture and for some, they are using Maulana Sajjad’s picture.
This is a result of lack of knowledge on the issue and lack of journalistic skills. This is not a mistake that can be forgiven, because it is completely maligning the image of the innocent person- Maulana Sajjad.
It could be a defamation case against all the above media outlets if Maulana Sajjad would have taken strict and necessary action against them. However, he did not do anything but took to YouTube and made a video intending to warn them.
“Despite disclaimers, these media reports are carrying my photograph which compels me to conclude that this is being done to defame me,” the All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesperson said, asking media houses to not carry his pictures in Nizamuddin Markaz related reports, according to PTI news report.
Maulana Sajjad also urged the media to act with “restraint and responsibility” while covering issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.
He then warned the media, “If, despite my request, deliberately planting of my picture continues, I will have no option but to take legal recourse.”
News channels, newspapers and online media should be the source of authentic information for people. But this is not happening. Because many journalists are not acting as a true journalist. They have their own agendas that they are striving to accomplish. Fortunately, they can be called anything but not journalists.