Indian Express’ decision to promote BJP’s Islamophobia for money has triggered strong backlash with prominent writers vowing to end their association with the controversial newspaper. This was after Indian Express carried a front-page advertisement promoting Yogi Adityanath’s Islamophobia by demonising a Muslim youth.
Reacting to the Islamophobic ad, Professor Apoorvanand of the Delhi University tweeted, “Shocked to see this open Islamophobic propaganda. Know the editors are secular but cannot rationalise it. In my small way I register my protest by disassociating with it as a writer and buyer. Sad as I valued my association with it but there is something more sacred at stake.”
Shocked to see this open Islamophobic propaganda. Know the editors are secular but cannot rationalise it. In my small way I register my protest by disassociating with it as a writer and buyer. Sad as I valued my association with it but there is something more sacred at stake. https://t.co/RcBFOJUauI
— Apoorvanand अपूर्वानंद (@Apoorvanand__) December 31, 2021
Economist Jayati Ghosh, who too has been writing columns for Indian Express, also tweeted making a similar announcement. “Definitely time to dissociate from @IndianExpress – a paper that brazenly promotes hatred in a half page spread on its front page. No excuses for this,” Ghosh wrote on Twitter.
— Jayati Ghosh (@Jayati1609) January 1, 2022
Salil Tripathi, who too contributed to the newspaper in the past, tweeted, “This fictional tasteless ad in the express reminded me of this real life set of images.”
This fictional tasteless ad in the express reminded me of this real life set of images. pic.twitter.com/BWD6QL4X13
— saliltripathi (@saliltripathi) January 1, 2022
Earlier, Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker had condemned Indian Express calling the newspaper’s decision to promote Islamophobia sickening. Swara had written, “SICKENING @IndianExpress, Is this your “journalism of courage” ?! #StopAdvertisingHate.”
This is not the first time that Indian Express has faced condemnation for compromising its editorial ethos in support of known Islamophobes or bigots. In 2015, the paper honoured Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News for ‘excellence in journalism.’ Aside from being a known Islamophobe, Chaudhary had to spend time in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after he was caught extorting Rs. 100 crore from an Indian industrialist.
In September this year, the newspaper had to issue a clarification after it was caught promoting a fake advertisement in favour of Yogi Adityanath, who was seen using flyovers and buildings from Kolkata to claim development in Uttar Pradesh. After facing condemnation from netizens, the newspaper had issued a statement saying, “A wrong image was inadvertently included in the cover collage of the advertorial on Uttar Pradesh produced by the marketing department of the newspaper. The error is deeply regretted and the image has been removed in all digital editions of the paper.”