On May 18, an FIR was filed against Sudarshan News for using a morphed graphic on the May 15 episode of its primetime show Bindas Bol.
The show in question was on how India should support Israel in the latter's onslaught against Palestine. To prop up its theory, the channel repeatedly showed artificial rockets bombing the dome of the Al Masjid An Nabawi mosque in Medina, which was perplexingly superimposed on a Gaza neighbourhood.
Support Israel because Israel is "rightfully killing its enemies and jihadis", Sudarshan chief Suresh Chavhanke said on the show.
Subsequently, a Mumbai-based Islamic organisation, Raza Academy, filed an FIR against the channel at Mumbai's Pydhonie police station. The complaint was filed under sections of the penal code related to, among others, promoting enmity and committing malicious acts to outrage religious feelings.
The Indian Civil Liberties Union also took exception to Sudarshan's show and wrote to union minister Prakash Javadekar, calling the programme “incendiary, objectionable and violent”. The ICLU also said that showing the Medina mosque being attacked was a "threat" to India's relations with Saudi Arabia.
Sudarshan's response to the proceedings was to defend itself on a , where it argued that the morphed graphic was an example of "artistic freedom".
This is not the first time that Sudarshan has waded into controversy with its programming. Last year, it proposed a conspiracy called "UPSC jihad" by which Muslims were purportedly "infiltrating" the civil services for their own nefarious purposes. Even the Supreme Court "insidious" and a great "disservice to the nation".
But if you're wondering where Sudarshan News gets the money to fund its "campaigns", the short answer is: some of the money comes from you. RTI responses show that the channel’s government ad expenditure spiked in 2017, even as other channels lost money.