3 Indian TV channels fined for spreading hate

The country’s News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has ordered three Indian TV stations—News Eight India, Times Now Navbharat, and Aaj Tak—to take down videos of several of their programs aired over the past two years, accusing them of spreading hatred.

The NBDSA ruled that the alleged programs were in “clear violation of certain guidelines based on ethical and broadcasting standards and reporting on ethnic and religious harmony.” News from The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times.

The NBDSA alleged that the program spread messages of hatred and communal hatred in “clear violation of ethics and broadcasting standards and guidelines on racial and religious harmony.”.

The Indian Express has reported that the three television stations have also been fined in some cases.

The Regulatory Board for Television News Broadcasting (NBDSA), headed by retired Justice AK Shikri, held a meeting on February 28 and discussed the complaints against their various programs aired by various television stations. Then seven decisions were made by the council.

News Eight India was fined Rs 50,000 for four shows it aired in 2022. Aman Chopra and Amish Devgan were the hosts of those four shows. In the event, they said that the murder of Shraddha Walker, who was killed by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala in 2022, was related to ‘love jihad’.

In this regard, NBDSA said the term ‘Love Jihad’ should not be used loosely and should be used very carefully if it is used in any future broadcast. Such religious stereotyping can damage the secular fabric of the country, cause irreparable damage to a community, and cause religious intolerance or discrimination.

NBDSA fined another television station, Times Now Navbharat, Rs 1 lakh for their ‘Love Jihad’ program. The show was telecast on May 31, 2023, hosted by Himanshu Dixit.

Regarding the NBDSA’s decision, The Times Network said, “We accept the verdict and will do whatever is necessary, including ensuring more caution in selecting stories in the future.”

NBDSA today ordered Tak to remove a video of a show. The host of that show was Sudhir Chowdhury.

According to NBDSA, on Ram Navami 2023, Sudhir blamed the entire Muslim community for the activities of some miscreants in his program.

The NBDSA, in its observation, said there would have been no problem in airing the program if the broadcaster had limited its analysis to incidents of communal violence.

However, the program was given a completely different color by airing such slogans as ‘Today’s Muslim Area, Tomorrow’s Muslim Country’. The television station has been fined Rs 75,000.

A lawyer from India Today Group said, “However, we are very disappointed with the verdict. However, we respect the decision of the Board of Control and will abide by their judgment.