Noting that a News18 India broadcast on “thook jihad” last year amounted to “targeting of a particular community”, the news broadcasting and digital standards authority has asked the network to take down the show within seven days.
On his show Desh Nahin Jhukne Denge, Aman Chopra had held a “debate” titled “Khane mein thookna, jihad ya jahalat? (Spitting in food, jihad or barbarism?)” in November last year. Newslaundry’s Bloodlust TV had how anchor Aman Chopra strung together a series of videos with misinformation to show Muslims are waging a holy war by spitting in food.
Incidentally, some of the videos shown during the programme to justify the debate’s had previously been fact-checked as fake news by the News18 website. The channel had taken down the show shortly after it was aired.
In the order issued on Monday and signed by justice AK Sikri, the broadcast regulator maintained that the language used by the anchor was “unacceptable” and that some of the videos shown during the show were fake. It noted that the debate amounted to “generalising the issue and the targeting of a particular community”.
“NBDSA took strong objection to the narrative that was being created by the broadcaster in the impugned broadcast, which could disturb religious harmony, incite communal passions and was sensational and judgemental,” the order read.
The regulatory authority further observed that the language used by the anchor and panellists was “completely unacceptable”. It said the show violated the code of ethics and broadcasting standards and specific guidelines covering reportage of clause 9.