Sudarshan News plea in SC: Pained by broadcast of ‘Hindu Terror’ on NDTV

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Sudarshan News in an additional affidavit in the Supreme Court said it will follow all the laws during the broadcast of its show, but that it was shocked and pained when NDTV on September 17, 2008, had broadcast a show titled as ‘Hindu Terror: Myth or Fact?'

In the affidavit filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, the news channel said: “The deponent was shocked and pained when on September 17, 2008, NDTV (English News Channel) had broadcast a programme anchored by Barkha Dutt titled as ‘Hindu Terror: Myth or fact'.”

The channel argued that in this programme just adjacent to the programme caption, “‘Hindu' Terror: Myth or fact?”, a Hindu saint was shown with ‘tilak' and ‘chillam' and also a ‘Trishul' (one of most sacred symbols for Hindus and associated with most revered deity of the Hindus ‘Lord Shiva').

“I further submit that NDTV had also broadcast on August 26, 2010 a programme, again anchored by Barkha Dutt titled as “Is ‘Saffron Terror' real?” In the said programme a Hindu cultural gathering was shown in saffron colour clothes”, said the affidavit. This additional affidavit has been filed in the ongoing case, where the apex court had stayed the broadcast of the remaining five episodes of a programme series “Bindas Bol” with the tagline “UPSC Jehad”.

The news channel has claimed the programme is an outcome of investigative journalism, which focuses on how Muslims have “infiltrated” the Indian civil service. Urging the top court to lift the stay on the broadcast of the programme, the new channel contended that it will strictly comply with all laws while airing the remaining episodes of ‘Bindas Bol' series on the subject of UPSC Jihad.

“The answering respondent further states that he will abide and comply by the programming code and directions of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting strictly”, said the news channel in the affidavit.

On Friday, the Sudarshan News counsel had said that they will submit an additional affidavit to address the perception of hate speech in the content of the TV programme, so that the court could lift the stay on the broadcast. “Need to look at the programme as a whole, not as a part… I have no objection at all to any community joining the UPSC,” argued senior advocate Shyam Divan for the channel.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed broadcast of subsequent 5 episodes of “UPSC Jihad” by Sudarshan TV stating that the intent and purpose of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community. The apex court will hear the matter further on Monday.



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