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.”
@Harshad1189 U can say wteva u like. I say that u are a dalit apologist. And a backward regressive moron. No go clean toilets lol
— Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29) September 11, 2016
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.”
@jinder788 Sikhs deserved that. What do u expect when you breed hate? They killed Hindus for nothing. Although I dont support genocide……
— Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29) August 10, 2016
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Twitter feed of Mehreen Sibtain, a broadcast journalist with Samaa TV, features a constant tirade of anti-Hindu bigotry.
Yes sanity is related to humans & Hindus are outsider to humanity .
See your barbarianism in Kashmir .
Hindu can’t assimilate w/Human . https://t.co/bNk5vmGqXW
— Mehreen Sibtain (@Mehreen_Sibtain) October 29, 2016
Only Humans are welcome here , Not Hindus . go find some one of your ilk.
I loath stinky Hindus. https://t.co/PYfoGnvtoH
— Mehreen Sibtain (@Mehreen_Sibtain) August 19, 2016
You’re talking about ppl / human & I’m talking about Hindus . there is world of difference b/W human & Hindu https://t.co/0KSeblKOR0
— Mehreen Sibtain (@Mehreen_Sibtain) October 19, 2016
In July, she even suggested that Pakistan should use nuclear weapons against Hindus.
Few handful Hindus overpowering us. Shame on us all. Why do we have nukes for? be it a lethal & mortal war Hindus would Run heels over head.
— Mehreen Sibtain (@Mehreen_Sibtain) July 10, 2016
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.