Suresh Chavhanke tweaks his hateful pledge after Supreme Court rap. It’s still hateful

And he’s still peddling conspiracy theories of ‘love jihad’ and ‘UPSC jihad’.

ByAban Usmani
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Suresh Chavhanke tweaks his hateful pledge after Supreme Court rap. It’s still hateful
Shambhavi Thakur
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Sudarshan News editor Suresh Chavhanke has tweaked his “fight, die, kill for Hindu Rashtra” pledge to “we will sacrifice ourselves to preserve Hindustan and, if required, others”. This comes a few months after the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi police for its affidavit clearing Chavhanke of hate speech – for administering the controversial oath at a function in Delhi last December – paving the way for an FIR for promoting religious enmity.

At a “Hanuman Chaalisa and Jansabha” event for “Hindu lions” organised by Hindutva groups in Haryana’s Badarpur on Sunday, Chavhanke started by mocking what appeared to be a lacklustre response to a Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogan. “Ye toh kisi mulle ko bhi nahin sunaai diya hoga, is aawaaz mein kaise chalega. Jama Masjid tak aawaaz jaani chahiye,” he said to a thunderous response from the seated audience. “Not even one Muslim would have heard this. How will this voice work? You should be heard from even Jama Masjid.”

Chavhanke and BJP leader Kapil Mishra were the main speakers at the event, while Ragini Tiwari, of the Delhi communal violence notoriety, was seated on the stage. A banner of the Hindu Ecosystem was hung around the podium. A video of Chavhanke’s speech was telecast on Sudarshan News, with the claim that Badarpur was turning into an epicentre of “love jihad”, a Hindutva conspiracy theory that Muslim men “trap in love” Hindu girls with the intention of converting them.

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The editor said children as young as eight years old were part of the audience and this meant that the “future generations too are prepared to fight”. He went on to claim that his news channel had aired stories of young freedom fighters like Shishir Kumar Mehta, who was shot dead by the British with the tricolour “and saffron flag in hand”. He said he felt blessed that children were part of the gathering because “nobody cares about Hindus”. He then mocked the residents of nearby localities for not sending their children to such rallies, saying they were only concerned about “flats” and “education”.

“Parents who are not preparing their children for the fight of the future are making easy targets for jihadis”, who are fast filling up positions in the civil services and even had a plan for more representation in the new parliament, he declared.

Chavhanke said he was proud that his show on “UPSC jihad” became the “first show to be banned by the judiciary”. “I am proud to be the Suresh Chavhanke whose show was stayed by the Supreme Court,” he said. “The truth cannot be repressed by the powers that be or the court. I have a list of 100 such people who are IAS, IPS…but they work for Islam and not for the country.”

The Sudarshan News editor said the “Muslim police officers” allegedly trying to shield the accused in the Ankita Singh murder case in Jharkhand was evidence of this.

Chavhanke claimed that the Popular Front of India, a Muslim organisation that is mostly active in South India, planned to make the country Pakistan by 2047, a claim that does not find mention even in the police’s allegations against PFI members arrested in Bihar for participating in a physical training camp. “Even before the new parliament building is completed, they have a plan to increase Muslim representation by citing the high Muslim population in seats reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes,” he said. “They will snatch 56 Dalits seats.”

He went on to claim that there had been over 70 “love jihad” cases recently in areas where his amplified voice could reach in Badarpur, but nobody was talking about it as the families were concerned about their honour and the authorities were busy trying to cover it up. “Imagine, if this is the situation here, then what would be the situation of Hindus in Bengal, Kairana and Kashmir, and more so in Bangladesh and Pakistan.”

“Do you want to save Hindustan? How many of you are prepared to fight,” Chavhanke asked for a show of hands in the audience to give a message to others and “jihadis” as the camera panned to show hundreds of hands in the air. Then came the pledge: “We pledge, resolve, that at any cost, we will not let Hindustan become Pakistan. We will sacrifice ourselves, and others if need be, but will preserve Hindustan as Hindustan.”

The Sudarshan editor said many families approached his channel to seek help in “love jihad” cases but Hindu groups would only support those where the “brother wants to fight for his sister”. “A brother who sits in the house and cries while Hindu outfits lead the fight is not worthy of being called a brother,: he said. “If they take away your sister by force, by misleading her, you fulfil your responsibility by chopping off their hands, we will support you.”

The controversial pledge

On December 19 last year, Chavhanke administered an oath at an event organised by members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini to make India a “Hindu nation”, and to fight, die and “kill if required” for the purpose. He posted the video on Twitter saying, “Lions and Lionesses of Hindu Yuva Vahini taking the oath of Hindu Rashtra with me”. In his tweet, he tagged Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath.

A few months later, the Delhi police filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to a PIL accusing Chavhanke of hate speech. The police claimed “nothing was said” at the Hindu Yuva Vahini event “which could create an environment of paranoia amongst any religion”. The police also declared, “We must practise tolerance to the views of others.”

They were pulled up by the Supreme Court for filing such an affidavit.

In May, the police filed a new affidavit, stating that an FIR had been filed after examining the material and that action would be taken according to the law. “All links in the complaint and other material available in the public domain were analysed, and a video was found on YouTube,” the police said. A case was filed on May 4 at Okhla Industrial Area police station under IPC sections 153A, 295A, 298 and 34 for promoting religious enmity.

History of hate

In 2013, during the Muzaffarnagar communal violence, Sudarshan News was sent a showcause notice by the union information and broadcasting ministry for violation of rules. The channel was also pulled up for “instigating violence”. Chavhanke maintained that the channel had a “clean history record” and had only been “appealing to viewers to remain calm”.

Sudarshan News also has a history of spreading disinformation. In 2017, it carried an image of a Bangladeshi activist and dubbed him a “Rohingya criminal”. In 2018, the TV channel was issued a notice by the Delhi Minorities Commission for referring to residents in North Delhi’s Bawana as “Bangladeshis” and “Rohingyas”. In the same year, even the Uttar Pradesh police asked Chavhanke to “stop spreading misleading news”.

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