02, Jun 2023 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace has in a complaint to Times Now Navbharat raising concerns over the contents of a news segment that aired on Times Now Navbharat on January 2, 2023, titled “बाबा की सनातन शपथ…भड़काऊ पथ पर जमीयत! | Hindu Rashtra | Bageshwar Sarkar Vs Hasan Madni”. The said show aired on May 22, 2023, where the host, Himanshu Dixit, had aim to hold a debate over the speech given by Hasan Madni, where he had said that whoever talks about a Hindu nation is a traitor, which soon enough took a communal turn. The problematic and communal stance was evident through the choice and content spouted by not just the participants in the “debate” but also unfortunately displayed by the host of the show, who actively participating in communal diatribe, justifying the establishment of a religious (Hindu) nation and even going to the extent of saying that India has always been a Hindu nation.
Debate shows on mainstream news channels are, more often than not, polarised and discuss issues that drive the communal narrative. The said Hindi debate show had themes of a divisive discourse that furthers a communal (intra-community) divide throughout its narrative and did not try to mask this motive that mitigates against the basic principles of fair and neutral journalism, which is violative of the guidelines issued by the News Broadcasting Digital and Standards Authority (NBDSA) as well as our constitutional principles and the orders of the Supreme Court.
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The panel consisted of four participants- Vijay Shankar Tiwari, representative of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Mahant Raju Das, another person in saffron garb titled “a Hindu saint”, one Muslim scholar, Atiq-ur-Rehman, and one Muslim writer, Maajid Haidari. What followed what predictable, the two Hindu representatives had a similar extreme Hindutva opinions, upon which they attacked the Muslim persons on the pant, and used this platform to bash the entire Muslim community and stigmatise the Islamic faith.
Pointing out the same, CJP in its complaint has highlighted certain extracts from the show that are specifically contentious.
Host to Maajid Haidari- “kya jo Islam ko nahi maanta usse kaafir maana jaata hai iss baar par zara charcha kare. (Please discuss if anyone who does not believe in Islam considered an infidel?)”
Mahant Raju Das while speaking to Maajid Haidari: “mera inse sawaal hai jo yaha beth kar chipdi-chupdi baat karra hai, mai isse bolta hu ki iss channel par bol de ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, ‘Vande Mataram ki Jai’, aur ‘Jai Shree Ram’ tabhi mai manuga ki who secular hai varna who nahi hai aur sabhi dharamo ka samaan karte hai. (I have a question to this man who is sitting here and talking about these made-up things, I urge him to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram Ki Jai’, and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on this channel, and then only I will accept that he is secular, otherwise he is not there and does not respect all religions.)”
Mahant Raju Das: “Bolo aap jo bolo mai boluga pehle aap bolo Jai Shree Ram, aap bolo pehle bolo. Bolo ki Talwar ke bal par salwar pehen liye ho, bolo ki mere purvaj pehle Hindu the. Bolo na ab bol ke dikhao. Aap nahi bol sakte. (Say whatever you say, I will say that. But first, you say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, you speak first. Say that you have converted on the strength of a sword, say that my ancestors were Hindus. Now speak and show it. But you can’t speak now.)”
The following objectionable text was repeatedly displayed throughout the debate:
Jamiat Ulema-E-Hind ko Janiye (Get to know Jamiat Ulema-E-Hind)-
- CAA-NRC ka virodh kiya (protested against the CAA-NRC)
- Islami Shikha ko dete hai Badhawa (they encourage Islamic education)
- Aatankiyo ke bacchav aur unhe kanoon sahiyta dene ka aarop (they are accused of defending terrorists and providing them with legal support)
The complaint highlighted that, “throughout this 30 minute segment, the channel was trying to goad an anti-Muslim narrative, pit the two communities against each other, and show that the Muslims are using every platform available to them to spread their Islamic agenda. This persistent stigmatization and attack on the minority community to drive home the point that Muslims are always up to sinister activities is harmful to the social fabric of this country.”
In recent times, CJP has sent multiple complaints against the islamophobic and extremist shows being run by the Times Now Navbharat. On May 22 itself, CJP sent two other complaints to Times Now about regarding two news segments of their, one of which was about Madrassas in Uttar Pradesh, and the other about Mazhaar in Uttarakhand, both of which conducted to drive an anti-Muslim narrative.
The entire complaint may be read here: