The Listening Post

India’s lockdown: Narratives of inequality and Islamophobia

India’s lockdown has magnified two of the country’s most serious social ills. Plus, photographing the pandemic.

On The Listening Post this week: India’s lockdown has magnified two of the country’s most serious social ills: inequality and Islamophobia. Plus, what is it like to photograph the coronavirus pandemic?

India’s lockdown: Narratives of inequality and Islamophobia

India is now one month into the world’s biggest lockdown. Just hours before it was announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with media owners and editors and asked them to “serve as a link between the government and people” – in other words, to produce positive news stories. Simple request or tacit warning? 

The pandemic has also exacerbated a chronic condition in Indian news media – Islamophobia. Some outlets have even accused Muslims of creating and spreading the virus, a hateful narrative that not only plays right into the hands of Modi’s BJP government, but also leaves millions bereft of potentially lifesaving information.


Pragya Tiwari – Delhi-based writer 

Betwa Sharma – politics editor, HuffPost India 

Barkha Dutt – editor, Mojo 

Arfa Khanum Sherwani – senior editor, The Wire

On our radar: 

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about contact tracing – the hi-tech means of tracking the COVID-19 outbreak – and why European countries are struggling to implement it.

Portrait of a pandemic: Capturing the spaces we call home

Lockdown has changed everything – millions have been confined to their homes and public spaces have been left deserted. While journalists, like everyone else, have struggled to adapt to new and unprecedented working conditions, photojournalists have found opportunity amid the adversity. 

The Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips talks to three photographers – each with a unique perspective on life under lockdown – and how it has changed the way we inhabit the spaces in which we live.


Marzio Toniolo – teacher and photographer 

Phil Penman – photographer

Ravi Choudhary – photographer, Press Trust of India