Distinguished classic music conductor Zubin Mehta has claimed that The Times of India omitted one line from an interview he recently gave to them. Mehta had said, “I hope my Muslim friends can live in peace forever in India”.

He made the allegation towards the end of a conversation with journalist Karan Thapar. Mehta gave the statement after he was asked about his views on the “sort of country” India was becoming, especially in view of its treatment towards the minorities, particularly Muslims.

“It [the line] was cut off, and the writer couldn’t give me a reason why”, he added, to which Thapar responded, “They don’t want to offend Mr. Modi and the government,”

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“How would that offend anybody? …This morning I read that they were burning churches in Pakistan. One has to get over this madness of religious persecution. Hopefully, things will change,” Mehta expressed.

According to The Wire, Mehta’s excluded comment was not incorporated in the print version of The Times of India. But on Monday, August 21, the online version included the quote after Mehta publicly pointed it out.

The Times of India responded to Zubin Mehta’s on X that the interview had been “trimmed to fit the page” and “the line being referred to was towards the end of the interview and got left out in that process”.

But The Wire evaluated that the 33 worded line that was cut actually fits and got restored in middle of the interview rather than the end of it.

X users respond

While some praised the censorship, many Indians criticized The Times of India and showed their concern about the increasing hatred towards Muslims in the country.