25, Oct 2022 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against News India 18’s show “Desh Nahin Jhukne Denge Aman Chopra केसाथ” for containing themes of communal divide and direct displays of hatred throughout its narrative. Through the entire debate, the members of the panel brought into question not just the various principles of Islam as a religion but also mocked speakers belonging to the Muslim community by asking them to hail Hindus gods on national television. The organisation has objected to the tone, tenor and choice of words spoken as well as displayed on the screen during this debate. Since, this is in direct violation of the code of ethics and broadcasting as laid down by the NBDSA, the organization has escalated the same and filed a complaint.
The show started with the host visibly cheering the Gujarat Police for beating men publicly with a stick for allegedly having pelted stones at a garba (festive dance) event. The host says, “Aapko Gujarat Police ka Dandiya dikhatehai (We will show you “Dandiya” played by Gujarat Police)”. Then he goes on to cheer them more as the beatings continue and the victims, visibly pained and begging for mercy saying “please forgive us”. He was clearly encouraging such brute and unlawful acts. An inquiry has now been set up by Gujarat Police against the two policemen seen indulging in the beatings. Throughout the show, the host, Aman Chopra, did not try to mask his bias in any manner, manipulated facts and actively participating in the communal diatribe.
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CJP had, in accordance with NBDSA guidelines, first shared their concerns with the News 18 channel, on October 10, 2022. We received their response on October 14, 2022, in which they have denied any violations of the guidelines and the law. Since, after analysis of the reply, the CJP team was not satisfied with the response, we escalated and filed the complaint with the NBDSA.
The complaint outlines how, through the entire “debate”, the members of the panel brought into question not just the various principles of Islam as a religion but also mocked speakers belonging to the Muslim community by asking them to hail Hindus gods on national television. It further points out certain problematic tickers that kept running throughout the show repeatedly:
“hamare garba me tumhara kya kaam hai” (What have you got to do with our Garba)
“Garba par pattharbaji – apradhya jihad? (Garba and stone pelting – Crime or Jihad?)
“garba me zyadatar Muslim Naam badalkar kyu aate hai (Why do so many Muslims change their identity to play garba)”
“Muslim ilaakon me aayojan kyu nahi (Why is [garba] not organized in Muslim localities)
“Toh Muslim betiya shamil kyu nahi hoti (why do muslim girls not participate [in garba]
“Mazhab chipayenge ab patthar bhi barsayenge? (Hiding their religion, now pelting stones too?)
The complaint further states, “There is no iota of doubt that the intention of the host was to incite Hindus against the Muslim by questioning why Muslims should get involved in garba celebrations, by justifying the unlawful police action of flogging Muslim men publicly, by picking one or two incidents to show that Muslims are acting against Hindus by stone pelting or by entering garba celebrations to eve tease Hindu girls, by posing baseless questions like why Muslim girls do not celebrate garba.”
The complaint also brings forward a gross violation on part of News India 18, wherein attempts have been made to pitch the Hindu community against the Muslim community by presenting data in a contentious manner. In a debate show, a host is expected to maintain a neutral and unbiased position, and conduct the debate in a peaceful and non-derogatory manner. However, in the case of this show, the host of the debate ended up peddling a rather inflammatory narrative that could spread communal hatred and disharmony in the country. Through the complaint, CJP has highlighted that the show violates the many guidelines issued by the News Broadcasting Digital and Standards Authority (NBDSA) as also its Code of Ethics.
The complaint may be read here: