Sudarshan News Asks SC To Vacate Stay On UPSC Jihad, Contends NDTV Allowed To Broadcast On Hindu/Saffron Terror
Suresh Chavanke's channel Sudarshan News has stated in an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court today (20 September) that it was deeply pained when NDTV, a Delhi based news channel, aired a show on Hindu terror and saffron terror.
It has said that in the NDTV show a Hindu saint was shown with Hindu symbols such as TIlak, Chillum and Trishul. The affidavit further contends that NDTV aired a program in which a Hindu cultural gathering was shown in Saffron clothes while discussing "saffron terror".
The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the broadcast of Sudarshan News channel's show on 'UPSC jihad' - a phenomenon in which, according to the channel, UPSC selectively awards more marks without due grounds for Muslim candidates during the interview stage of the civil servants selection process.
The show further claimed that such preferential marks were awarded to Muslim community candidates who had received support from Zakat Foundation. Terming it "infiltration" of civil services the channel the show also presented aspects of funding related to such organisations.
The SC judges hearing a plea against the broadcast of the show came out strongly against the show.
"So, we want a free flow of ideas. But we are also equally conscious about the right to dignity of a community”, Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading the three-judge Bench hearing the plea, said.
“Flames come up on the screen, bearded people in skull caps and the colour green are featured when a reference to a Muslim is made in the show. Every time you refer to the UPSC, you show ISIS and jihad. You suggest a deep-rooted conspiracy”, he had further noted.
The court had further said that pre-publication telecast ban was a matter of extreme recourse and that such an action could take the court down a slippery slope. The court had also floated the idea of forming a panel of eminent people to look at the issue of regulating TV media.
Responding to the courts questions the Centre urged the Supreme Court to confine the matter regarding Sudarshan News' 'UPSC Jihad' show to the channel and not lay down any further guidelines to the mainstream media.
In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that there are sufficient framework and guidelines for the electronic media and print media and they are earlier governed by cases and precedents.
The ministry further urged the apex court that if it undertakes an exercise to regulate media then it should be "digital media" first as it has a faster reach from a wider range of viewership.
"Digital media has faster reach, potential to become viral due to apps like WhatsApp and Facebook," says the Centre's affidavit, adding that "Digital media has serious impact and because of its potential, the court must first take up digital media".