— Consider reading the article Police arrest Md Ismail gets for duping Coronavirus patients, media gives it a ‘Hindu spin’ by calling him ‘fake baba’ on OpIndia website —
Cyberabad police have arrested Mohammed Ismail, a 50-year-old godman and his associate for cheating people. He was allegedly cheating the public claiming that he can cure coronavirus disease. Ismail was arrested on Saturday, the police charged them with cheating and relevant sections of the Epidemic Act.
He was “curing” the patients at his house in Marthanda Nagar in Hafizpet. On learning about his practices, police took suo-moto cognizance of the matter and arrested Ismail and his associates. Inspector S Venkatesh of Miyapur Police Station said that two victims had come forward to give their statements against the duo.
He was famous for curing seasonal fevers using his special prayers and was active from the last four years. When Covid-19 pandemic started to spread its roots in the country, he started claiming to provide treatment for the same. He also made his preaching available on WhatsApp groups.
Depending on the financial situation of the families, he was charging anywhere between Rs.5,000 to Rs.50,000 for the ‘treatment’. Recently, he took Rs.40,000 from a patient on the pretext of curing the deadly disease. He claimed that he has extraordinary powers to cure such diseases.
Police have requested the public to approach a doctor if they have Covid-19 symptoms instead of falling for such godman.
The Hindu spin to the whole narrative
One thing that did not change about this arrest is that almost every MSM house tried to give it a Hindu spin by calling him Corona Baba or Fake Baba instead of a Fakir or Maulvi which would have been the right term considering his religion. This is not the first time media has tried to frame Hinduism for spreading superstitions wrongly.
In May 2020, a newspaper used an image of a Saffron-clad Hindu priest while reporting about Moulvi Aslam who raped a woman and called him a Tantrik. In April 2018, Times of India carried an article in which they claimed that a Tantrik named “Warsi” was jailed for ten years for rape and extortion. In the same month, News18 reported that police arrested a Tantrik “Sajid” for raping a minor. Jagran called a Sufi godman “Tantrik Sufi Baba” who raped a woman. In 2017, India Today called a Christian pastor “Kerala Priest” while reporting that he demanded girls wearing jeans and t-shirts should drown in the sea.