News18 India fined for targeting Muslims, celebrating police violence on them

A screengrab of the video shows Muslim men being physically assaulted in Kheda district of Gujarat in Oct 2022.

New Delhi: The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has passed orders against four shows hosted by news anchor Aman Chopra of the Hindi news channel News18 India for objectionable statements he had made about Muslims.

The News18 India show was aired in October 2022. The order came on two separate complaints alleging that the show celebrated police violence against Muslim men, and also targeted and vilified the Muslim community.

The NBDSA, an independent body of television news channels, noted in an order dated February 27 that the “manner in which the debate was conducted was condemnable and the statements made by the anchor had the tendency to disturb the communal harmony in the country.”

In another order passed on the same day, the NBDSA also ordered Zee News to air hourly public clarifications for 24 hours on March 6, for its anti-Muslim approach while airing a debate on ‘population explosion’ with a disproportionate focus on Muslims, suggesting that they were responsible for population growth. The channels have also been asked to take down the contentious videos from YouTube and their websites, and to remove all hyperlinks enabling access to them.

The News18 video was from the show Desh Nahin Jhukne Denge by Chopra and aired in October last year. The video showed visuals of a group of men being publicly flogged by a group of men purported to be policemen in Gujarat’s Kheda district.

In separate complaints, Indrajeet Ghorpade and Citizens for Justice and Peace had written to the NBDSA pointing out that the channel had celebrated the police violence instead of condemning it. The complaints pointed out how some of the tickers such as ‘Gujarat ke Kheda mein Police ka Dandiya’ (Police play dandiya, a festive dance using batons/sticks in Gujarat’s Kheda) and ‘Garba par paththarbaji, aparadh ya jihaad?’ (Stonepelting on garba, crime or jihad?).

Click to comment
To Top