Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 2, 2016

South Asian Journalists Spread Religious Hatred On Social Media

When we think of religious hatred on social media, we often think of anonymous trolls accounts or extremist ideologues. In South Asia, though, there have been a number of recent incidents in which mainstream journalists have expressed extreme hatred against religious minorities.

Jagrati Shukla, a self-described “nationalist” and assistant producer for India’s Zee News recently called someone “a dalit apologist” and told them to “go clean toilets.”

Dalits, members of an “untouchable” caste in India, are routinely discriminated against, including being forced to clean the toilets of higher-caste Hindus.

This is not the first time Ms. Shukla has expressed religious hatred on social media. In August, she Tweeted that the thousands of Sikhs killed in 1984 mob attacks “deserved that.”

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Twitter feed of Mehreen Sibtain, a broadcast journalist with Samaa TV, features a constant tirade of anti-Hindu bigotry.

In July, she even suggested that Pakistan should use nuclear weapons against Hindus.

As representatives of mainstream news agencies, the public statements of these journalists play a significant role in shaping the views of society more widely. The unabashed and unrepentant tone of their Tweets not only threatens to mainstream bigotry, it also calls into question their ability to deliver impartial and unbiased information to their audience.

#bigotry#India#media#Pakistan#social media#twitter