CJP moves NBDSA against News18’s “80 vs. 20” diatribe The host of the show pitched Hindu voters against Muslims

17, Feb 2022 | CJP Team

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against News18 India’s show ‘Desh nahi jhukne denge – Hinduo ke khilaf mahagathbandhan’ hosted by Aman Chopra which aired on January 18. We had first written to News 18, but after receiving a vague and unsatisfactory response from the channel on February 3, we approached the NBDSA.

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.

CJP highlighted in the complaint that the show had undertones of communal divide from the very outset, and that it looked more like a political campaign debate. This is especially noteworthy given how it could be perceived as part of a political agenda, a polarising debate taking place even as a seven-phase election is on in Uttar Pradesh.

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The show was flagged off by the host with a communally charged question, “Hinduon ke khilaf uttar Pradesh me Mahagathbandhan tayyar ho raha hai aur jab 80 vs. 20 ki baat ki thi yogi Adityanath ne toh wo sahi thi?” (Translation: In UP, a grand alliance is being formed, and was Yogi Adityanath right when he said it is now 80 vs. 20?)

The host, Aman Chopra, was keen on leading the debate with the question of whether the Congress party and its alliance was against the Hindus of the state of UP. The host let his biases and prejudices against the Muslim community cloud the role he is supposed to play in a debate show, and made it evident that he was batting for the Hindu majority and was offended by the fact that some persons with a criminal background were included in the Congress party and its alliance members.

The complaint states that the political affiliation of the host was evident in the show and he made no attempts to mask the same. He was brazen enough to keep reiterating through the show that the opposing parties including the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) were against the Hindu population, making the election a religious battleground, which the political parties are prevented from doing as per the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) of the Election Commission. But the host of the show kept insisting on making the election a religious issue.

The Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates issued by the Election Commission of India prohibits political parties and their candidates from indulging in “any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.”

The complaint also states that the narrative of the debate show was to show that the Opposition in the state of UP was forming an alliance against the Hindu community, thereby creating divisions along communal lines in the election campaign phase of the Assembly elections. This no doubt benefits the right-wing regime in the state that hopes to consolidate the majority community’s vote. The channel’s malafide intentions to create disharmony and spread hatred is clear in the language throughout the show. This does not only violate the guidelines issued by NBDSA, but also stands in violation of our constitutional principles and various orders passed by the Supreme Court and our country’s high courts from time to time.

The complaint may be read here:


Image Courtesy: Youtube.com


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