British journalist and Al Jazeera TV host Mehdi Hasan was subject to a torrent of abuse online after the telecast of his interview with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. In a talk program titled ‘Is Modi’s India flirting with fascism?’, Hasan grilled Madhav on issues ranging from Kashmir to religious intolerance in India.
After the interview grabbed headlines in India, Hasan wrote on Twitter that in the 30 odd interviews he had done with Al Jazeera, nothing got a Twitter response such as this one.
He said that the interview must have really “hurt” as “Hindu nationalist trolls” have tried to smear him as a closet Islamist, a Pakistani and an ISIS supporter in the last 48 hours.
READ: One day, India, Pak and Bangladesh could reunite as Akhand Bharat, says Ram Madhav
— Rita Tornad (@Ritatornad) December 25, 2015
One of the first abusive tweets that Hasan retweeted was one from Canadian writer Tarek Fatah, who wrote that Hasan was a “Pakistani Islamist” and the studio audience were allegedly handpicked to badger Madhav. Hasan also replied saying that he was a British national of Indian origin.
Actually, I’m British and my parents are from India. But don’t let that stop your racism, bigotry or ignorance. https://t.co/SPitKxYbTD
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 26, 2015
In another tweet Hasan said that Fatah deleted his post, but the Canadian writer said he did not and he stands by his words. Fatah, in a series of tweets, also went on to attack Al Jazeera over their alleged bias towards Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which Madhav retweeted.
Over the past 48 hours, Hindu nationalist trolls have tried to smear me as a closet Islamist, a Pakistani and an ISIS supporter. Sheesh.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 27, 2015
Despite the abuse, Hasan also took a sly dig at Republican candidate Donald Trump’s and the English Defence League supporters saying that they had a lot to learn from the “Hindutva” crowd online.
In the interview recorded before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan, Madhav’s told Hasan that the RSS believes that Pakistan and Bangladesh would merge with India to form Akhand Bharat.
The BJP leader also defended the Modi government over the rise in “religious incidents in India” and went on to say that the recent return of awards by intellectuals was an attempt to defame it. During the course of the interview, while replying to question on Kashmir, Madhav told Hasan to worry about “your ISIS”. The shocked interviewer repeated the words thrice before Madhav clarified that he was talking about the ISIS in general. Meanwhile, the BJP yesterday distanced itself from Madhav’s comments on Akhand Bharat saying that there was his own views.
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