Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hate against Muslims: Regulator asks Aaj Tak, News18 India, Times Now Navbharat to take down shows

On February 28, the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) ordered television news channels News18 India, Times Now Navbharat and Aaj Tak to take down videos of several shows aired in the last two years for spreading hatred and communal disharmony.

NBDSA, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, has fined Times Now Navbharat Rs 1,00,000, News 18 India Rs 50,000, and warned Aaj Tak.

Indrajeet Ghorpade, known for fighting against TV channels, filed a complaint against six television news programs.

The body stated that the term “love jihad” must be used with great introspection as religious stereotyping amounts to a violation of the Code of Ethics and can corrode the secular fabric of the country, cause irreparable harm to a community and create religious intolerance or disharmony.

“Instead of blaming a few miscreants for murder and violence, using such incidents to paint a target on an entire community was inappropriate. To link the Shraddha Walker murder case with ‘love jihad’ and to have debates on it was inappropriate,” reads the order.

In the case of News18 India, the NBDSA imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 for four shows it broadcast in 2022, hosted by Aman Chopra and Amish Devgan. On the shows, the anchors had said that the murder of Shraddha Walker by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala in 2022 was connected to “love jihad”.

Rs 1 lakh fine on Times Now Navbharat is for its show on “Love Jihad” aired on May 31, 2023, hosted by Himanshu Dixit.

In its order against Aaj Tak, NBDSA directed the channel to remove the video of a show anchored by Sudhir Chaudhary on violence during the festival of Ram Navami in 2023, saying that he targeted the entire Muslim community due to the acts of certain miscreants.

Chaudhary spread fear and hate against Muslim people using misinformation, negative stereotyping and generalisation. He was found comparing the boundaries of areas populated by Muslim families with the India-Pakistan border and falsely stating that no other religious community lives in specific areas.


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