17, Mar 2022 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against News 18 India’s show ‘Danke ki chot par-Toh hijab keliye bomb barsenge?’ (Translation: Asking openly- So will bombs be hurled for hijab?) anchored by Rima Prasad which aired on February 15, 2022.
We had first shared our concerns with News 18 as per procedure. But after receiving a vague and unsatisfactory response from the channel on March 11, 2022, we approached the NBDSA on March 15, 2022.
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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 entire show was premised on false news, prejudicial to one community, and that it appeared to have been telecast with the intent of misinforming the viewers, spreading hatred and most importantly, stigmatising and demonising the Muslim community.
The said was replete with misinformation and communal hatred throughout its narrative. It was quite evidently a partisan political campaign disguised as a news room debate. This is especially noteworthy given how it could be perceived as part of a political agenda, a polarising debate taking place during a seven-phase Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The show was flagged off by the host with communally charged questions, “Kya hijab ki ladayibambazi par aa chukihai? Toh ab hijab keliye bam barsenge?” “danke ki chot par puchrahi hu kya bam barsayenge, shikshameishariyatlayenge?” (Translation: Has the battle for the hijab reached the extent of ‘bomb-bursting’? So will bombs be hurled for hijab? I am asking openly, will bombs be hurled, will the Muslim personal law be brought into education?)
The complaint brings forward a gross violation on part of News 18 India thatmisled the viewers by basing an entire debate show on false information sourced from statements and tweets made by BJP leaders, without checking facts on their own first.It was revealed by fact-checkers and news portals such as Alt News and the Print, that in truth, there were no bombs being hurled during the protest, and the claims made by News 18 were not supported by any ground reports or statements from local administration officials.
The host, Rima Prasad, was keen on leading the debate with her own set of ideologies and seemed to be biased in favour of the BJP spokesperson throughout the show.
The complaint brings to light this obvious partiality on behalf of the channel and how the host would immediately divert from a participant whenever such participant would attempt to make valid arguments.
The complaint states that the show was in no manner an unbiased debate but one that was driven completely by a narrative which was pre-decided by the host and had a clear propaganda to pitch Hindus against Muslims.The channel’s malafide intentions to create disharmony and spread hatred are 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:
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