Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has alleged that three news channels “chickened out” of holding prime time debates on the ‘Bulli Bai’ online harassment case. The Shiv Sena spokesperson also said that the channels “took my time” but “later dropped the discussion”.
Know of three channels that chickened out from debating on prime time the online harassment issue yesterday, took my time and later dropped the discussion. So, to them I say- grow a spine, it is high time.— Priyanka Chaturvedið®ð³ (@priyankac19) January 4, 2022
Kudos to NDTV & India Ahead for making this their prime time discussion
The issue relates to the targeting of Muslim women through doctored images on websites.
Asked by Newslaundry to name the channels she was referring to in her tweet, Chaturvedi said she did not wish to point it out. In her tweet, she lauded NDTV and India Ahead for holding prime time debates on the issue.
While prominent English news channels discussed the controversy in the prime time slot, several major Hindi channels gave it a miss.
Aaj Tak did not discuss the case on prime time slots and instead chose to talk about the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh and the need for rallies amid a surge in Covid cases. ABP News also skirted the issue during its prime time debates; it focussed on the UP poll campaign and Omicron infections. Zee News chose to discuss the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s remarks on the Surya Namaskar and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav’s comments on bringing ‘Ram Rajya’ to Uttar Pradesh, on January 4.
Among English channels, Republic TV skipped any debate on the issue during its chief editor Arnab Goswami’s show. On January 3, Arnab held debates on India manufactured Covid vaccines, Pakistan’s infiltration bid and Uttar Pradesh polls. On January 4, he discussed the religious link to Surya Namaskar, the Indo-China tiff at Ladakh, political campaigns amid the Covid surge, and children injured during the marathon held by Congress.
On January 2, NDTV 24x7 held a debate on the Bulli Bai case during their primetime show Left, Right, Centre. Anchor Vishnu Som spoke to journalist Ismat Ara who was targeted by the website. Chaturvedi was part of the debate as well.
India Ahead discussed the issue on January 3 on the 10 pm show with anchor Neha Khanna. Khanna spoke to women who had been targeted by such websites. It had commercial pilot Hana Mohsin Khan, whose pictures were used on the ‘Sulli deals’ app in July last year, and national convenor of Congress Hasiba Amin, who was targeted through both ‘Sulli deals’ and ‘Bulli Bai’. Khanna also spoke to Chaturvedi.
Times Now held a debate on the issue on January 2 during their show Newshour at 9. Anchor Madhavdas G spoke to activist Saira Shah Halim, BJP spokesperson Priyanka Tibrewal and Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari.
India Today discussed the issue on January 3. Host Rajdeep Sardesai discussed the issue during his 9 pm show News Today with criminal lawyer Rizwan Merchant and Ismat Ara.
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old girl from Uttarakhand and a 21-year-old civil engineering student from Bengaluru were held in connection with the case.
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