NEW DELHI – Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has sent a notice to the Hindi channel News18 India, complaining over the inflammatory and contentious contents of its debate show “Desh Nahin Jhukne Denge Aman Chopra केसाथ” aired on October 4, 2022 hosted by controversial anchor Aman Chopra.
This is not the first instance where CJP has raised concerns about a show hosted by Chopra. In January this year, CJP had complained against the show where as a pre cursor to UP elections, Hindu voters were pitched against Muslim voters in a bid to create a communal divide. Apart from Indian law, the contents of the show violate the code of ethics of the News Broadcasting Digital & Statutory Authority (NBDSA).
The complaint outlines how, through the entire “debate”, the members of the panel brought into question not just the various principles of Islam as a religion but also mocked speakers belonging to the Muslim community by asking them to hail Hindus gods on national television.
The show started with the host visibly cheering the Gujarat Police for beating men publicly with a stick for allegedly having pelted stones at a garba (festive dance) event. The host says, “Aapko Gujarat Police ka Dandiya dikhate hai (We will show you “Dandiya” played by Gujarat Police)”. Then he goes on to cheer them more as the beatings continue and the victims, visibly pained and begging for mercy saying “please forgive us”. He was clearly encouraging such brute and unlawful acts. An inquiry has now been set up by Gujarat Police against the two policemen seen indulging in the beatings.
The complaint points out certain problematic tickers that kept running throughout the show repeatedly:
“hamare garba me tumhara kya kaam hai” (What have you got to do with our Garba)
“Garba par pattharbaji – apradh ya jihad? (Garba and stone pelting – Crime or Jihad?)
“garba me zyadatar Muslim Naam badalkar kyu aate hai (Why do so many Muslims change their identity to play garba)”
“Muslim ilaakon me aayojan kyu nahi (Why is [garba] not organized in Muslim localities)
“Toh Muslim betiya shamil kyu nahi hoti (why do muslim girls not participate [in garba]
“Mazhab chipayenge ab patthar bhi barsayenge? (Hiding their religion, now pelting stones too?)
The complaint further states, “There is no iota of doubt that the intention of the host was to incite Hindus against the Muslim by questioning why Muslims should get involved in garba celebrations, by justifying the unlawful police action of flogging Muslim men publicly, by picking one or two incidents to show that Muslims are acting against Hindus by stone pelting or by entering garba celebrations to eve tease Hindu girls, by posing baseless questions like why Muslim girls do not celebrate garba.”
News18 India has 14.9 million subscribers on YouTube and the channel has a reach though national television as well. The video itself has more than 3 lakh views on Youtube alone with more than 1,000 people having commented on the show with their versions of equally inciteful messages in the comment section on Youtube.
The complaint highlights that the show violates the many guidelines issued by the News Broadcasting Digital and Standards Authority (NBDSA) as also its Code of Ethics.