EDITORIAL: Unlike Syed Waseem Rizvi of Lucknow, UP, India, who converted to Sanatana Dharama as ‘Jatindar Narayan Singh Tayagi’ in 2021, Pakistani-Canadian journalist Tariq Fateh, who was born in Karachi to a Punjabi Muslim family in 1949 and died in Toronto, Canada, last month after a prolonged battle with cancer, never underwent ‘ghar wapsi [to return home]’ formally or informally, at least publicly.
Undoubtedly, however, he played the role of a lethal ammunition in the hands of all the forces that are overtly and covertly inimical to Pakistan and its interests.
Israel and India were the countries from where he derived his ideological, spiritual and intellectual sustenance. Fateh was a permanent part of ‘Godi media’, particularly Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV channel, where he continued to pursue his anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda unabashedly till his death.
He therefore had become the darling of ruling BJP-RSS combine, so much so that at one point of his hate campaign or an organised series of hostile actions motivated by intense dislike and prejudice prime minister Narendra Modi accorded an audience to him and thanked him for contributing to incumbent government’s efforts aimed at turning a so-called secular India into a Hindu rashtra by effectively marginalizing minorities, particularly the Muslim community.
Fateh was treated as a state guest throughout his stay in India where he was not only gloating over the plight of Indian Muslims at public forums, he was also openly calling for further persecution and oppression of the ‘children of invaders’.
Not only was he strongly assailing Muslim politicians such as Asaduddin Uwaisi, Waris Pathan, Azam Khan and Tasleem Rahmani, he was also demonizing the entire community of 200 million Muslims day in, day out. He often labeled them as fifth columnists. He was always found eager to promote his ‘anti-Muslim’ image to curry favour with the Sangh Parivar.
The Modi government rewarded him with everything he had sought or demanded against his valuable services except for nationality of India. Irked by his failure to achieve what he was initially promised by New Delhi, he went back to Canada with a heavy heart.
Although he was still a key tool in the tool box of far-right media in India through a slew of broadcast and social media links or platforms, Fateh, who had worked for state-run television in Pakistan before he left the country for Saudi Arabia to work there for quite some time prior to his emigration to Canada, appeared less enthusiastic and confident on television screens since his return from India. Last but not least, Sonia Gandhi had once aptly described Narendra Modi as “maut ka saudagar [merchant of death]”; Tariq Fateh, by all accounts, was a “nafrat ka saudagar [merchant of hate]”.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023
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