The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has directed Zee News to take down a show – telecast in June last year – over Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq’s remarks against the proposed two-child policy. The NBDSA found the show to have an “agenda”, “lacking any facts or data”, and projecting the views of an individual as the “view of an entire community”.
The , “Kudrat Bahaana Hai, Muslim Aabaadi Badhaana Hai” – nature is just a pretext to increase Muslim population – led with Barq’s remarks that human reproduction was in God’s hands and “we don’t have a natural right to interfere with it”.
The NBDSA order, dated June 13, observed that the headline of the programme was “telecast without any data or substantial material to support it”. It added that the channel was unable to justify the statement during the hearing. “If the broadcaster desired to debate the two-child policy proposed by the UP government, the tagline/headline could have been avoided and a more neutral and objective tagline could have been displayed during the debate,” the order read.
The NBDSA also said that the debate violated the code of ethics related to impartiality and the show “lacked balance and objectivity”. “The authority is of the view that the manner in which the topic was framed, and the language used clearly pointed to the fact that there was an agenda to the debate. This was also clear from the images that were displayed during the debate,” the order stated.
In keeping with this, the body cautioned the channel and asked it to take the programme down within seven days.
This is not the first time Zee News has run into trouble with the NBDSA. In April, the association had for a show on JNU scholar Shehla Rashid. The NBDSA had said its debate was not objective or impartial and showed only one side of the story. Last year, Zee News was asked to , two of which were aired on the same show during a discussion on farmer protests.