Aman Chopra at it again! Debate Promo Pits Grand Coalition against Hindus, Draws Flak

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News18 posted a promotional poster on its Twitter handle that carries a communally polarising title: ‘Hinduon ke Khilaaf Mahagathbandan.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Aman Chopra, the news anchor, is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. He, along with News18, the channel he is associated with, has drawn flak for what he is best at, kicking up undue controversies by giving sectarian twist to simple news.

His latest is a promo of an upcoming debate under the banner of ‘Desh Nahi Jhukne Denge’, a weekly feature on the channel of which Chopra is the host. The channel posted a promotional poster on its Twitter handle that carries a communally polarising title: ‘Hinduon ke Khilaaf Mahagathbandan or Grand Coalition against Hindus’.

The poster juxtaposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the one side, and Maulana Tauqeer Raza, the leader of Barelvi group who recently  announced support to the Congress, on the other.

Soon after, the poster went viral on the social media and comments started pouring in from political observers accusing the anchor and the channel of peddling the agenda of the ruling Bharatiya janata Party (BJP).

There is truth in the accusation. From the controversial programmes and the partisan manner in which he holds them no one will be in doubt that Chopra is not anything but a impartial arbiter, the basic virtue of a news anchor.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bhartiya tagged the Election Commission of India (ECI) asking whether it would take steps to “control electronic channels and print media from communalising our election”.

Reacting to the poster, journalist Manimugdha Sharma called it “Absolute disgrace!” as he wrote, “What passes off as journalism in this ‘New India’”

Amit Tushar called the show a “Dharam Sansad…at prime time everyday”, a reference to the recent hate assembly that was organised by Hindu monks in Haridwar where calls for Muslim genocide were made.

Chopra has resorted to demonisation of the Muslim community through his debates in the past as well. In November 2021, he held a debate on his show a day after a video surfaced on social media of a Muslim man working in his eatery in Ghaziabad. The rightwing social media accounts falsely accused the man of indulging in what they called “Thook Jihad”, a bogus theory floated by Hindutva supporters that Muslims spit on the food.

Taking a cue, Aman Chopra discussed an imaginary practice of ‘riwaz-e-thook’ or tradition of throwing spit on food as he peddled the baseless Hindutva allegations against Muslims. But when independent fact checkers dispelled the theory, the channel silently took down the videos of the debate from the internet.

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