05, Jul 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has sent a complaint to Zee News for their unverified and misleading live debate programme titled Kudrat ek bahana hai, Muslim abaadi badhana hai? (Nature is just an excuse, the motive is to increase Muslim Population?) that aired on June 27, 2021. The show focused on how the Uttar Pradesh government is mulling over a potential population control law, and ran taglines, displayed pictures that hinted at the Muslim Population explosion narrative.
The debate programme on this topic, emphasised a statement made by Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman who said that Children are “Nizaam-e-Kudrat” (part of the system of nature) and that nobody has a right to interfere with that. The complaint mentions how the entire show which is barely a debate and more a shrill exercise in hyperbole and heightening volume, insinuates that there is only one particular minority community behind India’s backwardness and illiteracy.
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Anurag Bhadauriya, one of the panelists who was against giving a communal angle to the story and instead brought up issues like Covid-19 deaths, inflation and rising unemployment, was constantly cut off by the show’s anchor, Aditi Tyagi, who kept playing the statement made by Shafiqur Rahman about how nobody has the right to interfere with someone’s decision to reproduce.
CJP’s complaint reads, “The debate was about how Shafiqur could make such a statement and nothing about the expected population control bill and the provisions it would entail. Moreover, it needs to be stated that every segment of society, in India or the world, surely has persons with different views: cherry picking from these and using the media to generate a stereotype is certainly not a responsible act from a media house.”
CJP’s complaint also states how during the debate, Zee News’ Taal Thok Ke show tried to portray that it was against the idea of giving this discussion on population control a religious angle but ended up doing the exact same thing. It was astonishing to see that throughout the show, on several occasions, visuals of crowded areas only inhabited by Muslims were shown. “Such images of areas crowded by only Muslim people clearly displays the intention of the channel that just wanted to regurgitate the ‘Hindu-Muslim narrative’ and divert from the real issues of Covid-19 and the slowing economy. Such themes also tend to perpetuate the myths pertaining to the Muslim population and falsefully glorifies the Muslim population explosion narrative that compels people to believe that Muslims intend to do anything to increase the population of their community to dominate India”, read CJP’s complaint.
CJP also stated how the host kept questioning through the show why population is a religious issue and on the other hand, ran taglines like “Kudrat bahana hai, muslim abaadi badhana hai?” (is nature just an excuse, motive is to increase the Muslim population?), “Nizam-e-kudratya Hindustan par aafat?” (system of nature or a disaster upon India?). It seemed like the show tried to create rhetoric that did not exist, and it was also ironic how the channel created a communal narrative on the show and then questioned why such a narrative exists.
The complaint also refers to Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), SY Quraishi’s book, The population Myth-Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India (Author: S. Y.Quraishi, Publication: HarperCollins Publishers India, 2021), to understand the availability of health infrastructure and services as important factors that reflect population. Recent statistics by NFHS-4 data states how Muslims lag behind in accessing delivery services at healthcare facilities and receiving advice on family planning from community health workers.
Lastly, CJP has humbly requested the channel to remove the show from all digital platforms and tender a public apology for their misinformed reportage.
The entire complaint may be read here: