Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Communalism Media

CJP moves NBSA against India Today’s communal sting operation on Madrasas

The complaint was filed against a sting operation run by the channel while drawing links to the Tablighi Jamaat incident which was largely pegged as being a conspiracy for spread of Covid-19 in India

CJP Team 23 Sep 2020

Tablighi Jamaat

CJP has moved the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) seeking action against India Today for running a sting operation on madrasas when the Covid-19 pandemic had started to make headway in India. The show titled Madrasa Hotpots: India Today Investigation hosted by Rahul Kanwal, was aired on India Today TV news channel on April 10, 2020.

After this program was aired, it was summarily panned and criticised widely on social media for its communal content that appeared to be aimed at spreading hatred against one particular community. The entire program was a sting operation conducted in a madrasa where minor children are housed. However, madrasas serve as hostels for poor, destitute and orphaned children. This important piece of information was conveniently skipped in the show. Instead, the show blatantly claimed that these children have been hidden in the madrasa.

The show also drew a comparison between the much talked about Tablighi Jamaat case, and stated that despite concerns about the spread of Covid-19, there are children being crammed up in rooms in madrasas. The channel seems to have taken this stand in a bid to insinuate that Muslims are still defying social distancing, thus making them appear to be a greater enemy than the coronavirus itself.

The complaint states that, “While sting operations are considered a last resort in the field of journalism, to carry it out in an institution that houses poor destitute and orphaned children, can only be deemed deplorable. While such reportage defies all principles of morality, there are laws as well as standard ethical practices in place which make this kind of journalism a punishable offence.”

The complaint also draws out how the show stands to violate the code of ethics and fundamental principles of self-regulation laid out by the NBSA for its member organisations. It further points out how the channel becomes liable under the Indian Penal Code for perpetrating hate speech and for inflammatory and inciteful contents of their show.

The complaint also mentions the Bombay High Court judgment which said that the Jamaat members were made scapegoats by the government and “an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading Covid-19 virus in India”.

The complaint further states, “We assert that this show of India Today was a part of this larger conspiracy to subdue the Muslim community in India by blaming the spread of an entire pandemic basis one singular incident, which no case been completely established in any court of law. The clear intention of media houses like India Today was to create and sell a narrative that suited their agenda, of being anti minority, and to paint them in such a negative light, that feelings of hatred and animosity are implanted in other communities against them, and the communal divide further deepens”.

The NBSA has taken cognisance of the complaint on September 19 and while sending the complaint to India Today, has asked them to send a response to the same within 7 days.

The complaint may be read here.

Download PDF

 

Related:

Sudarshan TV airs ‘UPSC Jihad’ show

NBSA forwards CJP’s complaint against Sudarshan News to I&B Ministry

CJP moves NBSA against India Today’s communal sting operation on Madrasas

The complaint was filed against a sting operation run by the channel while drawing links to the Tablighi Jamaat incident which was largely pegged as being a conspiracy for spread of Covid-19 in India

Tablighi Jamaat

CJP has moved the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) seeking action against India Today for running a sting operation on madrasas when the Covid-19 pandemic had started to make headway in India. The show titled Madrasa Hotpots: India Today Investigation hosted by Rahul Kanwal, was aired on India Today TV news channel on April 10, 2020.

After this program was aired, it was summarily panned and criticised widely on social media for its communal content that appeared to be aimed at spreading hatred against one particular community. The entire program was a sting operation conducted in a madrasa where minor children are housed. However, madrasas serve as hostels for poor, destitute and orphaned children. This important piece of information was conveniently skipped in the show. Instead, the show blatantly claimed that these children have been hidden in the madrasa.

The show also drew a comparison between the much talked about Tablighi Jamaat case, and stated that despite concerns about the spread of Covid-19, there are children being crammed up in rooms in madrasas. The channel seems to have taken this stand in a bid to insinuate that Muslims are still defying social distancing, thus making them appear to be a greater enemy than the coronavirus itself.

The complaint states that, “While sting operations are considered a last resort in the field of journalism, to carry it out in an institution that houses poor destitute and orphaned children, can only be deemed deplorable. While such reportage defies all principles of morality, there are laws as well as standard ethical practices in place which make this kind of journalism a punishable offence.”

The complaint also draws out how the show stands to violate the code of ethics and fundamental principles of self-regulation laid out by the NBSA for its member organisations. It further points out how the channel becomes liable under the Indian Penal Code for perpetrating hate speech and for inflammatory and inciteful contents of their show.

The complaint also mentions the Bombay High Court judgment which said that the Jamaat members were made scapegoats by the government and “an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading Covid-19 virus in India”.

The complaint further states, “We assert that this show of India Today was a part of this larger conspiracy to subdue the Muslim community in India by blaming the spread of an entire pandemic basis one singular incident, which no case been completely established in any court of law. The clear intention of media houses like India Today was to create and sell a narrative that suited their agenda, of being anti minority, and to paint them in such a negative light, that feelings of hatred and animosity are implanted in other communities against them, and the communal divide further deepens”.

The NBSA has taken cognisance of the complaint on September 19 and while sending the complaint to India Today, has asked them to send a response to the same within 7 days.

The complaint may be read here.

Download PDF

 

Related:

Sudarshan TV airs ‘UPSC Jihad’ show

NBSA forwards CJP’s complaint against Sudarshan News to I&B Ministry

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives