On April 15, 2022, Suresh Chavhanke, editor of the far-right Sudarshan TV claimed that Muslims are involved in a criminal conspiracy that he described as “job jihad”.
“Job jihad” – like the other recent phrases derived by suffixing “jihad” to various words – is the bogey of a conspiracy by Muslims to secure jobs and jeopardise Hindus’ sources of livelihood. Chavhanke had latched onto controversy that broke out on social media a week earlier when a list showing 10 candidates – all of them Muslims from Jamia Millia Islamia University – who were selected for apprenticeship by Pawan Hans Limited was widely circulated on social media. Allegations were made that Hindus are being denied jobs by the government enterprise.
Chavhanke said that Muslims were benefitting from a “100% undeclared reservation at Pawan Hans.”
Ragini Tiwari, who led a Hindutva mob at Maujpur and was caught on video pelting stones during the Delhi riots, led protests at the Pawan Hans office in New Delhi. “Can a government company only give employment to Muslims? Is there 100% reservation for Muslims at Pawan Hans?” Suresh Chavhanke asked in the teaser of the ‘Job Jihad’ show.In the later visuals, Tiwari and others, whom Chavhanke described as ‘shernis’ or ‘tigresses’, can be seen climbing the gate of the Pawan Hans office..At the gate, Tiwari and others can be seen making derogatory comments against Muslims and Jamia.
“Paisa Shri Ram ka aur fayda Chuslam ka(The money comes from Hindus and the jobs are for Muslims),” Tiwari is heard saying.
Another man in her live video is heard saying, “Why give employment to terrorists of Jamia who oppose Modi and Yogi? We will make sure that Muslim are thrown out and Hindus get a job.”
The Wire investigated the claim by Sudarshan and the Hindutva protestors and found it to be false.
Jamia Millia Islamia started the Bachelor of Science in aeronautics course in partnership with Pawan Hans Limited. The course is offered to 60 students in two batches – Avionics and Mechanical – of 30 each. This is, notably, a self-financed course with annual fees of Rs 1.3 lakhs, out of which only 30% goes to the University and the rest to Pawan Hans, according to official document accessed by The Wire.
Eventual selection criteria is based on the aggregate of the total marks of a candidate in six semesters and the number of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) modules cleared by the candidate. This year a total of 30 students were selected for an interview, a candidate informed The Wire.
Out of these 30 students, four – two Muslims and two Hindus – dropped out for personal reasons, The Wire learnt. Out of the remaining 26, a total of 10 candidates, five from each branch were selected. Later, a Muslim student who cleared the interview also opted out for personal reasons.
The Wire reached out to one of the two Hindu candidates from the Avionics branch who had dropped out for their comment on the controversy. “My friend Deepit Goyal and I were amongst the toppers of our batch. We opted out because of personal reasons. I am preparing for competitive exams. The selection process was completely transparent and based on merit. Being a minority institution, naturally there are more Muslim students at the University. As a Hindu student at Jamia, I have not faced any discrimination and all my friends are Muslims,” Shubh Solanki, one of the candidates who opted out, told The Wire.