24, Jun 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) against Zee Media’s channel Zee Hindustan, that aired a show about a so-called big revelation that involved “Vaccine jihad” in the country. The show’s content was about a Muslim auxiliary nurse midwife who allegedly wasted vaccine syringes by not administering it to the beneficiaries, insinuating that this is part of a bigger conspiracy against the country and its people, and that there could be involvement of some terrorist organisation.
On June 4, CJP had written to the broadcaster as per the NBSA guidelines but since it did not receive any response from them, the organisation approached NBSA for action. The show aired on May 30 presented a video that showed one Niha Khan to have wasted around 29 syringes by inserting it into people’s arms but not administering it and disposing it. The hosts of the show constantly used offensive and discriminatory terminology to give the alleged incident a communal angle. Some examples are:
- Saazish ki sanak ya mazhabi junoon (Conspiracy or religious fanaticism?)
- Nurse ki toolkit me kitni jihadan? (How many “jihadis” in Nurse’s toolkit?)
- Yogi ki UP me Vaccine Jihad (Vaccine Jihad in Yogi’s UP)
- Kattarpanthiyo kab muh kohloge (When will fanatics speak up?)
- Vaccine jihad case me karyawahi (Investigation on in Vaccine jihad case)
- Nurse niha khan chahti thi ki corona faile aur halaat bigde (Nurse Niha Khan wanted Corona(virus) to spread and for situation to get worse)
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CJP, in its complaint to NBSA dated June 23, has stated that this video of a woman disposing of the syringe without administering has been fact checked by fact checker news portal Alt News. This video turned out to be originally from Ecuador where it was tweeted by an Ecuadorian national on April 25. The Ministry of Health of Ecuador even issued a press release on the matter accepting that the said incident in the video took place at a vaccination centre in Mucho Lote in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The correspondent of the show casually stated that this incident should be investigated by the Anti- terrorist Squad and mentions the name of one Dr. Afreen who is believed to be involved in this incident. Dhoka (cheating), saazish (conspiracy) are other such terms that have been repeatedly used throughout the show to vilify the minority community. CJP has attached the clip of the show with its complaint for NBSA’s perusal.
The complaint mentions that using terms like “vaccine jihad” and flashing it on the screen throughout the show in big fonts, shows the malafide intentions of the channel and the host and exposes the propaganda of spreading hatred and vilifying the Muslim community at large. It also states that the communal angle played out quite brazenly through the entire show. “As bad or worse, the panic that was being created by the hosts could feed into the low awareness about the vaccine and the vaccine hesitancy in remote rural areas or even small towns. Worse still, by targeting a young woman professional by name they have put at risk both her professional work and in a sense also opened up the possibility of a threat to her person,” reads the complaint.
Further, the complaint lists down the various violations of NBSA rules and the Indian Penal Code against the show and the channel that perpetuates hate and ostracisation against the already marginalised community in our society.
It has requested the NBSA to take cognisance of the complaint and direct Zee Media to remove such content from all their digital accounts and also tender a public apology on its channel for promoting enmity and hurting the sentiments of a certain community.
The complaint may be read here: