In the last week of May, BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma made controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad on the national news channel Times Now. This sparked outrage in the Muslim world, with several Muslim nations condemning her statement and asking India for a public apology. On June 5, BJP suspended Nupur Sharma.
Five days later, on June 10, protests over Sharma’s remarks took place after the Friday jumma prayers across India. As per reports, two people died in Ranchi. Furthermore, Section 144 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been imposed in several parts of the country.
On the same day, AIMIM’s Maharashtra-based MP Imtiaz Jaleel criticised Sharma’s remark. ANI uploaded a 37-second video of Jaleel along with the transcription of his quote – “[sic] Islam is a religion of peace, people are angry…Nupur Sharma should be hanged. If she’s allowed to let go easily, then such things won’t stop. Law should be brought to take action against those who make such remarks against any religion, sect…” This video has gained close to 10 lakh views.
#WATCH Islam is a religion of peace, people are angry…Nupur Sharma should be hanged. If she’s allowed to let-go easily, then such things won’t stop. Law should be brought to take action against those who make such remarks against any religion, sect…: AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel pic.twitter.com/jUKkmvDb4V
— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2022
Shortly after, a section of people on Twitter criticised ANI for “misrepresenting” Jaleel’s quote. Journalist Rohini Singh quote-tweeted ANI and wrote, “Imtiaz Jaleel clearly says they aren’t asking for Nupur Sharma to be hanged and the law should take its course. Why has @ANI misquoted him so grossly? This false statement attributed to him has the potential to further inflame tensions.” [Archived link]
Imtiaz Jaleel clearly says they aren’t asking for Nupur Sharma to be hanged and the law should take it’s course. Why has @ANI misquoted him so grossly? This false statement attributed to him has the potential to further inflame tensions. https://t.co/db89QWRRkc
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) June 11, 2022
Similarly, NDTV’s Gargi Rawat and freelance journalist Alishan Jafri made the same claim. Both subsequently took down their tweets. [Archived link]
Twitter account ‘Team Saath’ also claimed ANI misquoted Jaleel. [Archived link]
Even after being made aware of the “correct” quote, @ANI fails to delete its tweet.
This is a deliberate act of spreading misinformation. Please take action on @ANI #TeamSAATH🤝 https://t.co/8wXbYJt0yW
— Team Saath Official🤝 (@TeamSaath) June 11, 2022
Did ANI misquote Imtiaz Jaleel?
The following is the transcription of Jaleel’s speech uploaded by ANI – “Islam is a religion of peace. Indeed there is anger amongst people. We also demand that Nupur Sharma should be punished by hanging to death. If she easily goes scot-free, she will never be stopped. We are saying that a law should be brought against people who speak against any caste, religion or any religious head … our prophet, and there should be strict action and prompt proceeding. It isn’t happening… that’s why… suspending her… is that called proceeding? Today the entire world…” The relevant section claimed to have been misrepresented has been highlighted.
[Translated from: इस्लाम जो है वो अमन का मज़हब है. इस्लाम जो है वो शांति का मज़हब है. यकीनन लोगों के अंदर गुस्सा है. हम भी ये मागणी करते है कि नूपुर शर्मा को फांसी की सज़ा मिलनी चाहिए. वरना अगर उसे आसानी से छोड़ दिया गया तो उसका कोई अंत ही नहीं रहेगा. हम तो ये कह रहे हैं कि किसी भी जाती किसी भी धर्म किसी भी धार्मिक गुरु किसी भी…हमारे नबी के खिलाफ़ अगर कोई बोलता है तो ऐसा कानून लाया जाए की उसके उपर सख्त कारवाई होनी चाहिए, फ़ोरन कारवाई होनी चाहिए, नहीं हो रही है. इस वजह से… उसे पार्टी से निकालना…ये कारवाई है? आज पुरी दुनिया…]
The part of the speech misunderstood by many has to be comprehended in Jaleel’s native language (Marathi). Jaleel said, “Islam jo hai woh shanti ka mazhab hai. Yakinan logo ke andar gussa hai. Hum bhi maangni karte hai ki Nupur Sharma ko fasi ki saza milni chahiye.“
The phrase, “Hum bhi maangni karte hai” has been misunderstood. This phrase is a mix of Hindi and Marathi. The Marathi element is the word maangni. It means “demand” in both Marathi and Gujarati. It is worth noting that maangni sounds phonetically similar to the Hindi phrase “maang ni” or “maang nahi” which means “not demanding”.
Alt News spoke with a linguist trained in Gujarati and Marathi. On the request of anonymity, they told us, “I heard the video multiple times and I can categorically state that Imtiaz Jaleel said mangani.” The expert added, “It could not have been ‘maang ni‘ because the nasalization on ‘a’ in ‘maang‘ does not get dropped generally in Hindi. Since there is an absence of nasal ‘a’ in Jaleel’s statement, ‘maang ni‘ interpretation is incorrect.”
It must also be pointed out that the phrase right after “Hum bhi maangni karte hai” only makes sense if Jaleel demanded Nupur Sharma’s hanging. Jaleel said that she should be hanged “otherwise she will easily go scot-free”. (Warna agar use asani se chodh diya toh uska koi ant nahi rahega).
The video below shows the relevant section where the phrase “Hum bhi maangni karte hai ki” can be heard clearly.
Verified YouTube channel Gallinews uploaded another video of Jaleel from June 10. He is delivering an inciteful speech on the mic. He is wearing the same cream-coloured shirt as seen in ANI’s clip. Around 25-second mark, Jaleel said, “…Hang [Nupur Sharma] to death at this every crossway of Aurangabad…”
Therefore, the claim that ANI misquoted AIMIM’s Imtiaz Jaleel is false. Since he spoke a mixture of Hindi and Marathi, several people assumed he said “maang ni” when, in fact, he said “maangni” which means “demand” in Marathi.
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