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NBDSA Asks Aaj Tak, News18 India, Times Now, Navbharat to Take Down Hate Shows

New Delhi, Mar. 3: The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has ordered news channels Aaj Tak, News18 India, Times Now, Navbharat to take down videos of several shows aired in the last two years for spreading hatred and communal disharmony.

NBDSA, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, has fined Times Now, and Navbharat Rs.1,00,000 each, News 18 India Rs.50,000, and has warned Aaj Tak.

“Instead of blaming a few miscreants for murder and violence, using such incidents to paint a target on an entire community was inappropriate. To link the Shraddha Walker murder case with ‘love jihad’ and to have debates on it was inappropriate,” reads the order.

The news regulatory body said on Wednesday that “the story of the robber depicted in the broadcast and the imputation it carried with it concerning Rahul Gandhi’s conviction, was not in good taste and should have been avoided”.

The authority has also ordered television channels, News18 India, Times Now, Navbharat and Aaj Tak to take down videos of five shows for spreading hatred and communal disharmony. It took action against the news channels based on complaints by activist Indrajeet Ghorpade.

As per NBDSA, “It appears that at the very beginning of the broadcast, the anchor has concluded that men from a certain community lured women from another community by hiding their religious identity and then committed violence or murders against such women and every such violence or murder committed on women of a certain community related to love jihad.”

“This is evident from the questions raised and statements made by the anchor during the impugned broadcast. When some of the panellists expressed their concerns regarding the communal angle being given to such alleged incidents and regarding selective cases of violence against women where the perpetrator belonged to a particular community, the anchor shouted them down and did not allow them to express their views,” NBDSA stated.

The NBDSA order observed, “Speaking of instances of inter-faith relationships, “some such instances should not lead to making generalized statements regarding inter-faith marriages by giving it a communal colour. Every citizen, from whichever religion, has a right to marry a person of his/her choice, irrespective of the religion to which he/she belongs.”

“Merely because a Hindu girl married a boy of another faith would not be tantamount to love jihad unless it is established that such a Hindu girl was duped or coerced into the marriage. Further, because of few incidents of such forced marriages, an entire community cannot be branded. Thus, it was not proper to generalize the incidents with the tickers such as “Love तो बहाना है … Hindu बेटियाँ निशाना हैं” Jihadiyon se Beti Bachao,” it added.



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