A Muslim journalist is offered for sale at an online auction

Our readers are Instagram users
You can now follow the latest news for free through our Instagram account
Click here to subscribe

Elaf from Beirut: At the dawn of New Year in New Delhi, I woke up and discovered that I had auctioned off the internet. There it was: a picture of me with the phrase “Your Bulli Bai Deal for the Day”, as Bulli is a derogatory term for Muslim women and bai, meaning servant, is another derogatory term used by right in India for Muslims. women.

This is how he started to tell what happened to the Indian Muslim journalist, Asim Ara, in an article published by the British “Time”. The novel continues: “I jumped out of bed. Having written critical stories about the government over the past two years – dealing with attacks on Dalits, crimes against women, mismanagement of the pandemic and hate crimes against Muslims – it was not so “Strange. In fact, I am one of the 20 most raped female journalists in India. But would I go to the auction?”

According to her, the list included about 100 other women and a Muslim priest. For some, it was their second appearance in six months in one of these fake sales, created to ridicule and humiliate. Many women have criticized the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She says: “In my family, I’m not just the first journalist (thanks to my mother, who tried to bring me to town for my education). Only, depending on the needs of my business. But for our potential auctioneers, “We were just Muslim women who had to be ashamed and silent.”

“I was full of anger and I wanted to do something about it,” says Ismet Ara.

Muslims are under attack in India

According to her, there has been a marked increase in persecution of Muslims since BJP came to power in 2014. Across India, Muslims are denied housing and Muslim artists have quit their work due to threats from hardline Hindu groups .

In December, a three-day religious meeting was held in the state of Uttarakhand, where many fanatical Hindu leaders openly called for minority genocide. Yati Narsinganand, the organizer of the event, called on Hindus to “take up arms” for the “fight against Muslims”.

Around the same time, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, founded by Yogi Adityanath, a political monk who openly defends anti-Muslim hatred, developed. Hundreds at this event swore to make India a Hindu nation. They shouted, “We will fight and die if necessary, and we will kill as well.”

“In January last year, the police led by Yogi Adityanath, Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, and a member of the BJP, presented the first media report against me for my coverage of the farmers’ protests,” he says. Ismat Ara. Fear and anxiety in the state and this was a threat to India’s ‘national integration’. “I was only 22 years old and had not spent more than six months in my first job.”

Fortunately, the court granted her protection from arrest in this case, and criminal cases were filed against the journalists due to unfavorable news for the ruling party. Editors and writers at its media organization, The Wire, have faced accusations ranging from defamation, “promoting hostility”, “intent to riot” and “provocative tweet”.

A Twitter post for New Year’s Day about the auction went viral and some lawmakers have started talking about it. India’s IT minister wrote on Twitter that the internet hosting provider, GitHub, had canceled an account belonging to one of the alleged auctions. She says, “It helped me get over my care to approach the police, who did nothing the last time it happened. To my surprise, I was able to make a report and then the mainstream media started paying attention to it. “Every major television channel in the country was covering the story.” And you want to talk to me.

Exactly one week after the incident, and at the insistence of the editor of The Wire, Ara went to visit a psychiatrist who gave her an anti-anxiety medication to sleep on. After the meeting I went home with an exhausted body. Lymph node tuberculosis I discovered a few months ago has not helped me. Then, when things did not go wrong, she tested positive for coronavirus.

Responsibility for crimes against Muslims of India

The day after she registered her report with the police, she received a message on Twitter from a young girl whose name was on the auction list. She wrote that she froze from the shock after seeing her name, but knowing that others were talking openly about her gives her strength now.

Police launched arrests. After each campaign, “I received phone calls from many of my fellow victims. They arrested someone, Ismat.

What is even more troubling is that the politicians who ignite the flames of hatred in Indian society are continuing with their free lives.

This report was prepared by “Elaf” for the British “Time”.

Leave a Comment