Hamid Ansari's ‘new nationalism' speech, party hopping in UP & R-Day — Pg 1 news from Urdu press

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Hamid Ansari’s ‘new nationalism’ speech, party hopping in UP & R-Day — Pg 1 news from Urdu press
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New Delhi: Even with the rising electoral heat in Uttar Pradesh, a flurry of reports on alleged communal actions, coverage of follow-up developments of “hate speeches” made at a Dharam Sansad in Uttarakhand and statements on the “worsening religious discrimination” in the country, remained the focus of Urdu newspapers this week. Even the pandemic situation was pushed to the inside pages.

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ThePrint brings you a wrap of the important front page news and editorials in the Urdu media this week.

Communal tensions over ‘hate speech’

Former Indian vice-president Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s concerns about human rights violations and the rise of an “imaginary” cultural nationalism in India, raised during a panel discussion organised by the Indian American Muslim Council, was on the front page of both Inquilab and Roznama Rashtriya Sahara on 28 January.

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Roznama carried as its lead and second lead stories, two articles — one about the ongoing tussle in a Karnataka college for allowing girls in hijab to attend classes, and another from Kerala, where a girl’s appeal to appear in the student police cadet project in hijab and full sleeves was turned down on the ground that doing so would affect the state’s secularism.

On 24 January, Inquilab‘s lead story was about the affidavit filed by the Tripura government in the Supreme Court in reply to a bunch of petitions about communal incidents in the state. Instead of answering questions raised about its management of the situation, the BJP government there had asked why similar questions had not been asked of the West Bengal government about the violence that followed assembly elections their last year.

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On 22 January, Roznama reported that Yati Narsinghanand, the controversial religious leader accused of making hate speeches, will be charged with contempt of court after attorney general K.K. Venugopal gave his assent for the proceedings to start.

In an editorial titled ‘Increasing courage of hatemongers’, Inquilab on 26 January wrote that this has been the result of continued silence on hate speeches. It warned that unless immediate measures are taken to curb these propensities, there is no saying where it could lead the country.

In its editorial on 28 January on the ongoing tensions in Maharashtra over the naming of a sports complex after Tipu Sultan, Siasat wrote that the BJP does not let go of any opportunity to create communal discord. The party, the paper wrote, is determined to present to the future generations its very own distorted version of history.

Also read: Electoral majority in guise of religious majority: Hamid Ansari on India’s new nationalism

Uttar Pradesh, Punjab elections

As leaders continued to hop from one party to another in Uttar Pradesh, former Congress leader R.P.N. Singh’s entry into the BJP received front page coverage on Republic Day in both Inquilab and Roznama. The two Urdu newspapers made the points in their editorials that it was for the people to see through the political upheavals and decide what is best for them.

In its 23 January editorial on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s decision to contest elections, after first declaring that he would not, Siasat wrote that instead of going by mere faces, if voters keep in mind the past work of parties and also their present promises, they would serve their own interests the best and also contribute to the progress of the state. In its editorial on the same day Roznama wrote that while hardliners are indulging in fiery rhetoric, self-proclaimed secular parties also raise the voice of the oppressed on the basis of religion.

On 28 January, Siasat gave frontpage coverage to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Punjab visit and his participation in the Golden Temple langar along with 117 aspirants fighting the Punjab polls on a Congress ticket. Gandhi also made it to the front page of Inquilab on Friday, with his allegation that his Twitter followers had been curtailed at the instance of the Government of India. Siasat on Republic Day carried on the front page Congress’s condemnation of Minister of State Sanjeev Baliyan’s alleged comments against Brahmins.

Also read: Priyanka Vadra’s women-centric campaign long shot in UP. BJP must look at its male hierarchy

Air India handover

In a front page story on 25 January, Roznama wrote about the impending transition of Air India from a PSU to an entity privately held by Tata Sons, in which it briefly traced the history of the airlines, from its inception as Tata Airlines in 1932, to its takeover by the government in 1953.

In a page one story on 28 January, Siasat reported that there has been a slight delay in the handover of the airlines. It also carried on the front page a photo of the meeting between Ratan Tata and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Republic Day celebrations

While Inquilab did not publish an issue on 27 January, both the other newspapers — Siasat and Roznama — gave front page coverage to the Republic Day celebrations and the Padma awards.

Siasat carried on its frontpage the news of the Ashok Chakra award to an assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, but the accompanying story was about the FIR against Padma Bhushan Sundar Pichai in Mumbai. Roznama carried a colourful collage of pictures of the Republic Day parade in its lead story about the “spectacular” exercise.

A day earlier President Ram Nath Kovind’s address was on the front page of Siasat, along with the announcement of the Padma awards with Ghulam Nabi Azad featuring in the headline.

Also read: Not just 1st R-Day, 26 Jan 1950 also significant as Indian Army, Navy shed ‘Royal’ prefix

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