‘Half-truth peddler’: BJP upset after TN honours Zubair with communal harmony award

Zubair was given the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award during Republic Day celebrations yesterday.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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The BJP is displeased with the DMK government in Tamil Nadu after it gave Alt News cofounder Mohammed Zubair an award for promoting communal harmony.

State BJP chief K Annamalai complained that “creating social disharmony would be the right category to place” Zubair. He accused the DMK government of developing a “new liking for half-truth peddlers under the disguise of fact-checkers”.

Zubair received the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award during Tamil Nadu’s Republic Day celebrations yesterday at Chennai. The award was handed over by Chief Minister MK Stalin.

The award, instituted in 2000, honours persons from Tamil Nadu for “outstanding services rendered to promote communal harmony”. It includes a medal, certificate and cash prize of Rs 25,000.

In the case of Zubair, who is from Denkanikottai in Krishnagiri district, the state government’s citation said his work “helps to prevent the occurrence of violence in society likely to be caused by fake news”.

“In March 2023, there was a rapid spread on social media that migrant workers were being attacked in Tamil Nadu,” it said. “After verifying the authenticity of the video footage, he published on his website Alt News...that the footage in the video posted on social media was not actually taken place in Tamil Nadu and thus stopped the spread of rumours against Tamil Nadu and acted to prevent violence caused by caste, religion, race and language in Tamil Nadu.”

Newslaundry had reported on the wild rumours at the time, where videos of random events were passed off as “attacks” on North Indian migrants in the state. The BJP hoped to gain from the entire affair – but didn’t. Read about it here.

But Zubair has often been a thorn in the BJP’s side. He was arrested in June 2022 for purportedly hurting Hindu sentiments. As recently as November 2023, a Hindutva group’s hate campaign spread wild theories about him online.

This report was published with AI assistance.

Also see
article imageNow, a new hate campaign against Zubair with wild claims about his time in jail
article imageNL Interview with Zubair: ‘They said India is so poor, why would anyone donate to you for fact-checking?’
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