On December 5, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) wrote to the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against the debate segment of Times Now Navbharat aired on November 11, titled “’Madrasa Jihad’ पर बड़ा खुल़ास़ा, मजहबी त़ालीम क़ा ‘491 तंत्र”
The debate, hosted by Naina Yadav and Rakesh Pandey, was based on a “survey” carried out by the UP government on Madrassas in certain districts of the State. Reportedly, it was found that Bahraich city, which is close to the Nepal border, has 792 madrassas out of which 491 were found to be running “without license”.
Over this news, the channel held a debate and declared that something called “madrassa Jihad” was taking place in Bahraich.
The complaint raised “concern over the manner in which or the approach chosen to deal with this data. Using terms like “Madrassa Jihad” and “the ‘M’ Factor” the channel has resorted to cheap tactics to spread communal tension and hatred which is unbecoming of a news channel”. The complaint also points out that the channel used the “jihad” trope to further its communal narrative. “The trend of using the suffix of ‘jihad’ to propagate their communally divisive narrative has caught traction in the mainstream news media. The moment any news wherein a person from Muslim Community is involved, news channel rush to label it as some kind of Jihad,” the complaint states.
It further gives instances from the past where news channels have used “jihad” to associate with any crime committed by persons belonging to muslim community. How an act of one person is attributed to the entire community to malign the community as a whole and to create feelings of animosity and hatred towards them.
The entire complaint may be read here: