Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt News, a fact-checking website, was presented the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award by the Tamil Nadu Government on Republic Day. Zubair, who hails from Thally Panchayat in Krishnagiri district of western Tamil Nadu, was acknowledged for his diverse contributions to fostering communal harmony in the state.
Udhayanidhi applauds Zubair's achievement
In this context, the Youth Welfare and Sports Development minister of the State and DMK leader, Udhayanidhi Stalin, appreciated Zubair’s achievement. He gave the journalist, a statue of the revolutionary leader EV Ramasamy, aka Periyar, the ideologue of DMK party. Udhayanidhi posted the same on his twitter handle and described the event thus,
“Congratulated our brother @zoo_bear for receiving the Kottai Amir Medal for religious harmony from our hon’ble Chief minister at today's Republic Day ceremony. I presented him with a statue of Thanthai Periyar, who fought against superstitious practices throughout his life. Disinformation and fake news are the most detrimental issues of our era. Against such falsehoods, our brother @zoo_bear stands as a pillar of truth, conducting extensive research and exposing the lies of fascists through his platform @AltNews. Best wishes for all his endeavours.”
The Chief Minister, M K Stalin, personally presented Zubair with the award, recognizing his pivotal role in refuting claims that migrant workers from Bihar had faced attacks in Tamil Nadu. In March 2023, a rapid dissemination of social media posts alleged attacks on migrant workers in the state. Zubair, after meticulously verifying the authenticity of video footage, promptly published on his website, 'Alt News,' clarifying that the incident had not occurred in Tamil Nadu.
The government commended Zubair for halting the spread of baseless rumours against the state, thereby preventing potential violence rooted in caste, religion, race, and language.