Indian Express slammed for Islamophobic front-page ad, contributors register protest

The Indian Express had come under fire earlier too for carrying an ad by the UP government in which a flyover from Bengal was depicted as one that was built in Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian Express, a prominent nationwide English daily newspaper, is under fire for an ‘Islamophobic’ front page advertisement funded by the Uttar Pradesh government. The ad promoted the UP govt’s claim that there are no more riots happening in the state after the BJP came to power.

In an apparent reference to Muslims, the ad depicted a man with surma (kohl) applied around his eyes and a beard as the rioter. The rioter has learnt his lesson, the ad seems to say.

Frequent contributors to the daily condemned the newspaper for carrying the advertisement. Professor Apoorvanand of the Delhi University, who is a frequent columnist for the newspaper said that he is shocked by the ‘open islamophobic propaganda’. He announced disassociation with the paper as a ‘writer’ and ‘buyer’.

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“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,” he said in a tweet.

Economist Jayathi Ghosh, a regular contributor at the Express also announced dissociation with the paper and said the daily is promoting hatred by carrying the UP govt’s ad on its front page.

” 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. ,” she said.

Salil Tripathi, another contributor at the Express called the ad ‘tasteless’ and said that it reminded him of real images from the Gujarat riots of 2002.

The Indian Express had come under fire earlier too for carrying an ad by the UP government in which a flyover from Bengal was depicted as one that was built in Uttar Pradesh. The newspaper had apologized for the goof up.

Twitter Reactions

Many people on Twitter reacted to the ‘islamophobic’ ad and expressed their condemnation.

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