UAE-based businessman Sohan Roy says sorry for hurting religious sentiments

Saad Kandhalvi, coronavirus, covid-19, Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat, Sohan Roy

Abu Dhabi - The background visual used for his poem showed a Muslim preacher leading followers who are all blindfolded.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 19 Apr 2020, 7:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Apr 2020, 8:45 AM

Sharjah-based Indian entrepreneur is in the dock over a short poem, which has hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslim community.

Sohan Roy, CEO of Aries Group of Companies, is also a film director and regularly produces short poems on social issues, which are shared on social media platforms. However, Roy faced backlash over his recent work 'Viddhi Janman', which was produced following the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation, which, experts say, became India's worst Covid-19 vector.

Even though Roy's poem didn't target any particular religion, the background visual used for the title showed a Muslim preacher leading followers who are all blindfolded.

It was assumed the preacher was Tablighi Jamaat chief Muhammad Saad Kandhalvi, whom Indian authorities have since charged with culpable homicide.

However, Roy in a Facebook live video clarified that his poem was not about any particular religious leader or community. He has tendered unconditional apology for his mistake.

"I have been writing short poems on current affairs for more than two years. The recent one I wrote was during Nizamuddin issue. The virus would spread through any religious congregation and my poem was about the need to avoid such a situation. Since it impacts everyone's lives, I wrote few lines on the issue. I have been told that use of graphics has hurt religious sentiments. I take moral responsibility. I wrote the poem but graphics and music was done by others. But I take full responsibility. On their behalf, I apologise. I will be careful in future about what kind of graphics is used," he said after removing his work from all social media pages.

Separately, Roy and his company lead the fight to contain the spread of virus. The 53-year-old has offered his 9,000sq.ft. house in Kerala as an isolation ward for patients. He has provided 10 ventilators to the Indian state. Roy has initiated a drive to support 2,000 needy families affected by the impact of coronavirus.

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