31, Jan 2023 | CJP Team
On January 30, the Citizens for Justice and Peace filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against the Times Now Navbharat’s communally divisive show titled “देवभूमिUttarakhandमें ‘जमीनजिहाद’ परबुलडोजरएक्शनकीबारी!” that aired on January 2, 2023. The show was based on the decision given by the Uttarakhand High Court, wherein the court had allowed the use of force to evict 4,000 families living on what the Railways claims is its land.
On December 20, 2022 the HC had directed Railways to give the residents one week’s time to move out, by January 7, 2023 and after that, “to use the forces to any extent determining upon need, to evict forthwith the unauthorized occupants” on January 10, 2023. Over this judgment, the channel presented a report and declared that something called “Zameen Jihad” was taking place in Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand. Through the report, polarising remarks were made, instigating videos were shown and a propaganda of villianising the Muslim community was pushed.
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It was evident from the very beginning of the show that the anchor presented the issue of eviction of the Muslim community with a communal agenda. Throughout the show, terms such as “Zameen Jihad”, “Mazhar Jihad”, “Jihaadi Gang” and “bulldozer action of the Dhami government” were used to spread stigma, even hatred against the Muslim community.
The complaint stated that “throughout this nine- minute segment, the channel was trying to goad the audience into accepting a prejudicial, anti-Muslim narrative.” The complaint further highlighted that “This persistent stigmatization and attack on the minority community to drive home the point that Muslims are always up to sinister activities by terming everything they into “Jihad” is harmful to the social fabric of this country. The channel has used all its resources to showcase this judgment of the Uttarakhand HC as an action against the conspiracy of the Muslim community, conveniently not portraying the full facts of the case, or the arguments made by the petitioners while approaching the Supreme Court. The show portrays a group of people protesting against a decision of the court which affects their life, a right guaranteed to us under our Constitution, as an enemy “gang” that wants to further a conspiracy and harm the peace and harmony of our country.”
Through the complaint, CJP has urged the esteemed Authority to take cognizance of this show aired by Times Now Navbharat and take necessary action against them for spreading misinformation and fake news, and also in the process, hurting the religious sentiments of the minority community.
The complaint may be read here.