Rs 75,000 fine for Aaj Tak over Sudhir Chaudhary’s ‘tukde tukde’ jibe for Obama

The NBDSA has told Aaj Tak to remove objectionable parts from the show or take down the full video.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 on Aaj Tak for violating principles of objectivity and neutrality in a broadcast criticising a statement by former US President Barack Obama, Bar and Bench reported.

The authority has also told Aaj Tak to expunge the objectionable parts, and if that is not possible, to remove the video altogether from all its platforms.

Sudhir Chaudhary’s show Black and White had in June last year mentioned Obama’s remarks about disenfranchisement of minorities in India. 

India could pull apart if it fails to protect the rights of ethnic minorities, the former US president had said in response to a question by CNN about how US president Joe Biden should engage with leaders such as Chinese president Xi Jinping and PM Modi, who are considered to be “autocratic”, “illiberal democrats”. The interview was aired during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US.

“Who talks about the disintegration of India in the country?” Chaudhary had then asked on his show, while referring to Obama’s remarks, as he tried to link them to separatist and radical groups by using phrases such as “tukde tukde gang”, “Khalistani” and “Pakistani supporters”. 

But this was a gross misrepresentation, NBDSA chairperson Justice AK Sikri said, passing an order on a complaint by one Utkarsh Mishra.

“Instead of confining its discussion to Mr Obama’s statement, the broadcaster had failed to present a controversial issue with sensitivity and objectivity,” the order said, according to Bar and Bench.

“There would have been no issue with the impugned had the anchor confined its analysis only to reporting the statement made by Mr Obama or criticising it. However, in the impugned broadcast, while doing so the anchor went totally stringent and overboard by bringing in a totally unconnected narrative,” stated the NBDSA order, according to Bar and Bench.

Besides violating principles of objectivity and neutrality as enshrined in the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards, NBDSA reportedly said the programme also violated guidelines for anchors which state that “all programmes whether debates or otherwise must be presented in an impartial, objective and neutral manner and news should not be selected or designed to promote any particular belief, opinion or interests”.

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