‘UPSC Jihad’ is prime example of virulent Islamophobia: Petitioner in Sudarshan News case

The petitioner filed a rejoinder to the counter affidavit filed by Sudarshan News, and stated that the channel failed to address the statements made in the show which amount to hate speech

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In the rejoinder filed by the petitioner, Firoz Iqbal, it has been stated that Sudarshan News has wilfully misrepresented that the show is an expose on the links of the Zakat Foundation while the show represents Muslims as being part of a grand conspiracy to “capture” the civil services.

The petitioner filed this rejoinder in response to the counter-affidavit filed by Sudarshan News on September 16. The petitioner points towards the many misrepresentation of facts in the show already aired between September 11 to 14, and states that the central theme of the show is underscored with imagery, such as flames, blasts and a man in a skullcap and beard, meant to reinforce the message that Muslims are terrorists.

Further, the petitioner states that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting failed to perform its statutory duty and failed to view any of the four broadcasts to ensure that the undertaking given by Sudarshan News was even followed. The petitioner states that the use of the term ‘UPSC Jihad’ reflects the antagonistic mind set against a particular community and is nothing but a prime example of virulent Islamophobia. Moreover, the Petitioner submits that the present case relates to a deliberate and malicious attempt at communalising the atmosphere.

He further states that deletion of a few graphics or references will not change the nature of object or motive of the broadcast which is a classic example of hate speech and spewing of venom. The rejoinder states that the show portrays Muslims as fifth columnists, whose loyalties do not fully lie with India and the host, Suresh Chavhanke repeatedly uses highly provocative and militaristic rhetoric to describe Muslims, and openly states that they are poised to take over the country.

The petitioner also points towards the other shows being aired on the channel, one of which aired on September 17 was in bad taste and derided the Supreme Court. The petitioner states that the counter-affidavit of the respondent side stepped the issue of hate speech in its show and fails to address the statements made by Chavhanke in the show.


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