'UPSC Jihad' by Sudarshan News likely to 'promote communal attitudes': I&B ministry in SC affidavit

While not barring future episodes of the show, the ministry called it 'not in good taste'.

ByNL Team
'UPSC Jihad' by Sudarshan News likely to 'promote communal attitudes': I&B ministry in SC affidavit
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The information and broadcasting ministry filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court yesterday that described Sudarshan News' "UPSC Jihad" show as "not in good taste" and with the likelihood to "promote communal attitudes", LiveLaw reported.

"After examining all facts and circumstances of the case and balancing fundamental rights of the broadcaster," the affidavit stated, "[the ministry] hereby cautions Sudarshan TV Channel Ltd to be careful in future. It is further directed that if any violation of the programme code is found, stricter penal action would be taken."

The affidavit added that "the tone and tenor of episodes telecast do indicate that the channel through the various utterances and audio-visual content breached the programme code", the Wire noted. It said the channel must now "review the content of future episodes" of "UPSC Jihad" to ensure the programme code is not violated. However, future episodes of the show have not been barred.

The ministry had issued an order stating the same thing to the channel on November 4. The order's contents were then reproduced in the affidavit filed in the apex court.

The Supreme Court will be hearing the case today.

In September, the ministry had issued a showcase notice to Sudarshan News over the 10-episode show for violating the programme code. Sudarshan News had aired the first episode of the show on September 11.

"UPSC Jihad" claims to show how Indian Muslims have conspired to infiltrate the civil services. This purportedly involves a series of mythical systemic advantages and funds from “terror-linked organisations”. However, the case has also become a turf for a cast of characters to push their own interests. Read Newslaundry's report here.

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Also Read : ‘Fact-based journalism, but we could be wrong’: Sudarshan TV’s strange day in court
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