ABC show The Drum on India, featuring Pawan Luthra

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The Drum on India

Indian Link’s PAWAN LUTHRA was a guest on ABC show The Drum on 27 Feb 2020 to discuss the issues behind the recent sectarian violence in India. His appearance resulted in a barrage of feedback, both positive and negative, snippets of which are presented below.

Check out the episode on ABC iView or view a shortened version here

Davender Jain wrote: Pawan Luthra’s presentation in Drum programme of ABC TV was inaccurate, misleading and nefarious. By talking all lies on CAA he had done grave harm to the reputation of his country and to Indian origin population in Australia. 

Davender Jain wrote again: The discussions and contents of your violence in India was both misleading and incorrect. Reasons:

– purpose of Citizenship Amendment Act is not to take away any ones citizenship but to provide refuge to Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Paris and Christians who came to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh before 2014 due the religious persecution there. Their numbers have steadily decreased in these countries. There are 20,000 Sikhs who fled Afghanistan as an example, and now leaving in India illegally. No Muslims will ever flea (sic) from these Islamist states to India. This was not brought out by Ms Siddique or by Mr Luthra. 

– Modi has several times made it clear in Hicks public address that he wants all inclusive growth and this CAA is not targeted to take away citizenship of Muslims. 

– The opposition party, namely Congress, was paying the protestors Rs 500 per person per day and free food if they came and sat in the protest that was goings in a few parts of India. 

– The protestors were being fed and making more than than they would in their normal jobs. So they quite (sic) their jobs to just sit and protest

– Protest went on for about a month leading closure of schools and essential services and even traffic.

– Pro CAA protestor came to the places to counter anti CAA protest which led to clashes. There is clear evidence emerging that Muslims were well prepared and had been supplied arms and money by Pakistan to destabilise india. 

The above facts were not brought out in your coverage. 

Tracey Holmes wrote: Great to see you on The Drum, Pawan, your knowledge and considered thoughts are much needed.

Robyn Sefiani wrote: Incisive commentary Pawan Luthra. So sad to see what’s happening in India. And pretty shocking but not unexpected that President Trump seemed conveniently ignorant to the race riots during his recent visit there.

Mahadevan Shankar wrote: Pawan Luthra, the most factual statement unfortunately is you’ve been away from India for 35 years! Rest of the statements from panellists seem to be needing lots of corrections for the reality on the ground. Today’s news is that the main culprit behind the Delhi riots is the elected Muslim leader of AAP who attacked peaceful Hindu and other protestors with molotov firebombs, acid packets, stones and even inflammatory speeches to kill Hindus! That Muslim leader is on the run and has been sacked by his own AAP party. Planned riots aren’t BJP creation! If needed, an Indian Muslim Retd General could create better factual awareness for Australian audiences.

Harish Velji wrote: At least you projected neutral position based upon facts.

Rajesh Kumar wrote: You were spot on. It’s so sad to see what’s happening in india right now. It looks like the leaders have lost the plot. They started with a big vision but now they’re trying to compare and compete with the under development neighbours instead of comparing and competing with the developed nations like US, Australia, Germany, etc. For sure no country in the world can become a global player unless they change their focus from all sorts of communal issues.

Kamal Baluja wrote from India: I have heard the full discussion. Your comments are very lucid. Proud of you for speaking out in this manner and not mincing your words. Situation here is going from bad to worse. Mobilise the NRIs in Australia. Your voice can make an impact.

Watchdog wrote: This self-styled Indian media apologist running Indian Link and Indian Link Radio clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about. Watch and weep. Take note, Consul Generals of India in Sydney and Melbourne.

Gopal Ganwani wrote: This is fantastic Pawanji, I must say good on you.

Khushal Vyas wrote: Glad they had you on the panel. Unfortunately there are many NRIs in Australia who are taken in by the Modi mania and would not call a spade a spade. I am just completely at a loss and sick and tired of hearing toxic rhetoric that such educated and otherwise compassionate people can espouse. Incredibly saddening but at times like this makes me very happy to have someone like you representing us and having you at the forefront of Indian media.

Yadu Singh wrote: There is so much misinformation and falsehood in the video. It’s a lie to say Modi Govt is trying to make India a Hindu nation. India is a secular nation and will remain so. It’s not true that BJP is a Hindu party. It treats all Indians equally and, unlike others, doesn’t practise favoritism to any religion. The map of India shown in the video is factually incorrect as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India ever since the ruler of that kingdom signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947 to merge it with India, and should have been shown so. Claiming that Muslims are trying to migrate to Pakistan is fake, false and alarmist. Some panelists obviously had no clue about facts. Journalism should be about facts, not peddling of biased views and fake news. Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) doesn’t affect any Indian citizen. It provides citizenships to refugees from minority religions from Islamic nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who were a) religiously persecuted and b) already in India by 31 Dec 2014. Muslims are not likely to be religiously persecuted in an Islamic nation. There is nothing wrong in CAA. It is a noble act, as it helps persecuted minorities. We should have sympathy for them as they risk their lives and kidnapping of their daughters in those countries on a daily basis.

National People’s Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC), which doesn’t exist in India (except in Assam state under the direction of Supreme Court of India) at present, are needed for the governance, just like Australia has a register of its residents and citizens. India must know who is its genuine citizen and who is an illegal alien. A birth certificate is not the only criterion for the citizenship. There are so many other parameters, which determine citizenship. People can obtain a passport even without a birth certificate. Peddling an alarmist and false narrative against India is despicable. When the global economy as a whole is in trouble, it’s irrational and unfair to expect sterling performance from Indian economy.

India is a democracy and Indians gave Modi a landslide victory only 10 months ago. Blinded by their misplaced love for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, under whose reign, corruption was at its peak, some are unable to accept the verdict of Indians and have intolerance towards Modi.

Every law in India is for all Indians and is passed by the parliament, which is supreme and superior to the twisted views of the biased and Modi-hating so-called “journalists” and “intelligentsia”. Judiciary in India is independent and laws are regularly challenged in the courts. Opposition to either of CAA, NPR or NRC (when it comes) is furphy, irrational and agenda-driven nonsense.

The Drum producers should select panellists, based on merits and after a thorough research, to present a balanced and factual program. Bashing Modi and India shouldn’t be the only criterion for an invitation to be a panellist.

Darshak Mehta wrote: Pawan, I thought you were most articulate, fair & factual. I object to expressing any equivalence and giving time to the endless furphies propagated by the BJP Goebbels & hate-filled followers who are acquiescing in the destruction of India & it’s secular fabric with toxic rhetoric, merciless lynching’s & daily plethora of fake news . 

This PM makes “Maun” Singh sound positively loquacious. He is petrified of facing the press, as evidenced by his refusal to hold a public press conference in the past 18 years – surely, one for the Guinness Book of Records for a leader of any democracy?  He even ran away when Trump was around recently, preferring Trump to defend him, at his New Delhi presser.  An inconvenient, bold judge was transferred overnight for standing up for rule of the law. Though oil prices are HALF what they were in May 2014, the Rupee is 20 % LOWER & the economy shambolic – with the 4th RBI Governor in 6 years! It has been run into the ground but the Govt wants to pursue a corrosive agenda, as it has few economic clues, credentials or any interest.