The media in the West have a peculiar sense of entitlement that leads them to think they have the right to pontificate on and meddle in India’s internal matters. The Western media, with the unwavering support of several propaganda outlets in India and opposition parties like the Congress, has been relentless in its efforts to portray India as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘prejudiced’ against Muslims, particularly in the last 10 years since PM Narendra Modi has been at the helm of affairs.
These international outlets, which are always eager to push their anti-India and anti-Hindu bias while peddling the falsely concocted ‘Dara Hua Musalman’ narrative, have recently found fodder in the violence that took place in Manipur.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), going by its propensity to portray India in a bad light, recently hosted an interview to discuss the Manipur violence. The interviewer attempted to utilize the episode to throw doubt on India and its ability to respond to violent incidents. By using a few isolated acts of violence, the BBC journalist also attempted to subtly advance the narrative that India, under Modi, is a majoritarian country that routinely persecutes its minorities, particularly Muslims.
Amana Begum Ansari – Researcher and Policy Analyst, who was a part of the program, however, gave a befitting reply busting several anti-India propaganda and claims peddled by the likes of BBC.
— Amana Begam Ansari (@Amana_Ansari) August 10, 2023
In a 2.53-minute clip of the interview shared by the Indian Muslim journalist, Ansari is seen hitting out at Western media for its biased perception of India. Citing the example of how the crime rate in Uttar Pradesh has dropped by over 60% over the past ten years, Ansari slammed Western Media for creating a false perception of India based on a few isolated incidents of violence.
Ansari further argued that the West should first understand India’s complexities before drawing any judgements.
Retorting firmly to questions posed to her about the Manipur violence, the Indian journalist said, “When the Western world looks at India, they must recognize that we encompass six major world faiths. We have been living in diversity before the West understood what diversity is”, she said, adding that as an Indian Muslim, it saddens her to see how the Western media attempt to paint an inaccurate picture of India by focusing on a few isolated acts of violence.
At this point, the BBC journalist cuts Ansari short and questions her on her views on how critics of PM Modi blame his idea of Hindu Nationalism for the polarisation happening in the country. Coming out in strong defence of the Modi government, Ansari said, “It’s multifaceted. When we talk about Hindus we also talk about Hindu culture. India embodies Hindu culture. Many Indian Muslims like myself, were once Hindus and converted. We must acknowledge this reality,” she said.
Ansari went on to condemn the incorrect perception that “Indian Muslims are under attack” or that “Muslim genocide is taking place in the country” which the Western media consistently tries to push to vilify India. Citing the freedom she enjoys in India compared to non-secular Islamic countries, she said that she valued her Indian Muslim identity.
“I feel blessed to be born in India. Imagine being born in a Muslim-majority nation. The freedom I experience in India would not be possible,” she said.
Ansari gave the Modi administration advice over the Manipur issue, saying that they “could have handled it better.” She pleaded with the Prime Minister to urgently spread a message of harmony and peace and quickly find a solution.
Ansari also emphasized the need for a social movement to promote communication between the Metei and Kuku populations in order to find a solution to the situation.
Notably, during the burqa debate that erupted out of Karnataka in 2022, Amana Ansari was one of the very few women who spoke out vehemently against the regressive practice which the liberal ecosystem and Islamists went on to defend and support wholeheartedly, advocating it as a matter of individual liberty.