Skip to main content

Zee News told to "take down" inflammatory, violence inducing content: NBSA order

Counterview Desk
The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) -- an independent body set up the News Broadcasters Association, a private association of top current affairs and news television broadcasters in India in order to "consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts" -- has ruled that the powerful TV channel Zee News should "take down inflammatory and violence inducing content" broadcast in June 2018 during its show Kya Kehta Hai India.
In its order issued on May 1, the NBSA stated, “NBSA has decided that a warning be issued to the broadcaster (Channel: Zee News) and that any future violations would be viewed seriously.” It added, “A video of the said programme, if hosted, on the website of Zee News or any other links should be removed immediately and confirmed to NBSA.”
The order follows a year-long hearing based on a complaint filed by the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), a human rights NGO, against the channel about the programme, broadcast where June 30, Dinesh Raghuvanshi, a poet, said that soldiers will enter Pakistan’s houses and kill them there, through his poetry.
The poet challenged Pakistan to fight India and free the Kashmir land it took over in 1948. He added that all the people who are against the Indian army in Kashmir, those people will not just be taped to the bonnet of the car, but all four sides. He questioned Kashmiris and asked if they have any respect for the country.
The poet's reference was to a Kashmiri shawl weaver who voted in the elections for India was tied to an army jeep with a piece of paper stuck to him which said ‘this is the fate of the stone-pelter.’ The army had tied him as a human shield as a message against stone-pelters in Kashmir.
Dr Anamika, another poet, that Kashmir breeds traitors who betray the country and bombs are grown in containers that store the saffron spice. “Remove Section 370[i] and enter every Kashmiri house. Whoever doesn’t hoist the Indian flags, let the heads of those traitors roll,” she added.
Noting that Zee News is reportedly seen by 150 million viewers and therefore has a massive reach, CJP wrote to the Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) on July 9, seeking an appropriate apology to the Indian public from the channel, “for carrying such irresponsible, inciteful and violence inducing content” and breaching basic media ethics and principles. Failing to get a response from the Zee Media Corporation, CJP decided to file a complaint regarding the programme with the NBSA.
In its letter, CJP said that Zee News had violated NBSA code of conduct, explaining that the content the channel broadcasted “encouraged and promoted violence against a particular community, thus endangering national security”.

A CJP note:

In a huge victory for CJP’s campaign against hate speech, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has acted on our complaint against Zee News and asked the channel to take down inflammatory and violence inducing content broadcast in June 2018 during its show Kya Kehta Hai India.
In its order issued on May 1, the NBSA has stated, “NBSA has decided that a warning be issued to the broadcaster (Channel: Zee News) and that any future violations would be viewed seriously.” NBSA also directed that, “a video of the said programme, if hosted, on the website of Zee News or any other links should be removed immediately and confirmed to NBSA.”
The show had been broadcast in June 2018 and featured multiple poets who called for widespread violence against the population of Jammu and Kashmir, with no regard to the hatred they were propagating. They also displayed no sensitivity towards the possible effects of such propaganda, especially on the delicate socio-cultural fabric of Indian society today.
CJP first wrote to Zee on July 9, seeking an appropriate apology to the Indian public “for carrying such irresponsible, inflammatory and violence-inducing content” and breaching basic media ethics and principles.
After failing to get a response from Zee, CJP filed an official complaint with the NBSA on July 30. CJP, through its president, Anil Dharker and secretary, Teesta Setalvad filed a detailed complaint against the television network for airing the programme that, in CJP’s considered view, was both hate-filled and violence-inducing. Our letter to the NBSA may be read here:
Action from the NBSA prompted Zee’s response to CJP, dated August 23.
Mr. Raghav of ZMCL contended that the Zee News programme in question was based on the surgical strikes mounted by the Indian military in September 2016, to which CJP responded in our letter, noting that they were “in no way is the defining moment or justification” for the programme.

CJP’s Response to Zee’s Reply

CJP replied to the NBSA, countering Zee’s response, which highlighted that Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression. We argued in our letter that Zee’s reply “in no way satisfactorily responds to the issues raised in our complaint,” and reiterated that Zee News violated NBSA code of conduct, which states that national security must not be violated.
CJP also highlighted that “nationalism” was argued as justification for airing the Zee News programme, arguing, “We believe, in no way, does violence and or vitriol embody nationalism.” We reiterated our original requests, calling on the NBSA to direct Zee News to issue a public apology.

NBSA considers submissions

In a decision communicated to CJP on February 8, 2019, the NBSA has clearly stated that, in its meeting held on January 17, 2019, the original complaint and the response of the broadcaster were considered and the original CD of the broadcasted programme was also viewed.
In the communication received by CJP, NBSA has stated:
“NBSA was of the view that the broadcaster was in breach of the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage No. 2 Impartiality, Neutrality & Fairness 2.1 which states that ‘For balanced reportage, broadcasters should remain neutral and ensure that diverse views are covered in their reporting, especially on a controversial subject, without giving undue prominence to any particular view’ and Guideline 3. Law & Order, Crime & Violence which states that Broadcasters should not glamorize or in any way promote individuals, groups or organisations, that employ or advocate the use of violence or engage in criminal/nefarious activity, hooliganism, vandalism and all forms of delinquency should not be shown in favourable light’ and the Clause 7 of the Principles of Self-Regulation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards endangering National Security.”
A hearing was scheduled for March 25, but an adjournment was sought. The hearing then took place on March 28. The counsel of the complainant submitted that the tone and tenor of the program focused on communal hatred. We submitted that a news channel cannot put out such divisive propaganda. Also, that there was “no neutrality/objectivity or balance in the programme.”
The broadcaster submitted that in the context of the government releasing videos of the surgical strikes six poets were invited to the programme “to invoke patriotic and nationalistic feelings among the people.” They also submitted that “the programme was not intended to polarise citizens nor to spread negative propaganda, nor to encourage violence against any class of people in the country/society.”
The final order was passed on May 1.
---
Click HERE for NBSA order

Comments

Anonymous said…
Zee News appears to be a trumpet of BJP.

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

US publication blames Gates Foundation for 'accelerating' India's healthcare crisis

By Rajiv Shah A new book, published by the New York-based Monthly Press Review (MPR), has blamed Microsoft founder Bill Gates for “crowning” the crisis allegedly engulfing India’s health sector, stating, the top American billionaire’s foundation of late has acquired “extraordinary influence" over India’s public health governance,  giving a fillip to a policy that deprives access of public healthcare facilities for majority of the country’s population.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".