An FIR has been filed against Sudarshan News channel’s editor, Suresh Chavanke, panelists Ravi Kumar Iyer and Siddharth Dave at the Pydhonie Police Station, Mumbai for airing and participating in a provocative news program titled ‘Aao Israel ka saath de, kal ki ladai ka saathi hai Israel’ (Come let’s support Israel, Israel is our partner for tomorrow’s fight).
The program that aired on May 17, showed morphed visuals of a missile attack on the Green Dome of Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, the holy city of Muslims, as a part of its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The FIR has been filed by Madariya Sufi Foundation’s member Irfan Shaikh under Indian Penal Code sections of 153A (promoting enmity between groups based on religion), 295A (deliberate acts to outrage someone’s religious beliefs), 505(2) (Statements creating enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 34 (acts done in furtherance of common intention).
In the program, that was part of the channel’s Bindas Bol show, the editor highlighted how India has had a good and a long relationship with Israel, even before Islam was born. The entire show focused on how India must stand in solidarity with Israel, against the wishes of human rights activists, journalists, intellectuals in the country who are supporting Palestine’s cause.
The ongoing tension and violence in Jerusalem, with the recent Israeli airstrikes in the Palestinian city of Gaza have killed more than 200 people including children and women. The pictures and videos of the violence, the reactions of Palestinians are being circulated on social media. This tension began a few weeks ago when Israel ordered six Palestinian families to leave their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on May 2 to make way for Jewish settlers and then raided the Al Aqsa mosque a few days later.
After the broadcast of the Bindas Bol show, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and national spokesperson, Waris Pathan took to Twitter, demanding Chavanke’s arrest under the National Security Act for trying to create communal disharmony.
Known for its vitriolic anti-Muslim themed programs, Sudarshan News has been pulled up before by the top court for airing problematic shows. In September last year, SabrangIndia’s sister publication, Citizens for Justice and Peace, had moved News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) against Sudarshan for a trailer of the show alleging ‘UPSC Jihad’, insinuating that Muslims are rapidly infiltrating the Civil services.
The complaint was then forwarded to the I & B ministry by NBSA. The Ministry had cautioned the News channel and also called the show offensive. Eventually, the Supreme Court stayed the broadcast of the show, ruling that prima facie it appears that the programme vilifies the Muslim community and that the content was insidious.
This story was first appeared on sabrangindia.in