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Broadcasting Authority Orders ZEE News to Take Down Inflammatory, Hateful Content

In 2018, the show ‘Kya Kehta Hai India’ had featured people calling for violence against Kashmiris.

News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) on May 1, ordered ZEE News to take down an inflammatory, hateful content broadcast by the channel last year. The authority also warned the channel that any such future infractions will be viewed seriously.

The order comes in light of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) filing an official complaint with the NBSA on July 30.

A show called ‘Kya Kehta Hai India’ was broadcast on 30 June 2018 on Zee News. It featured multiple poets who called for violence against the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as the channel displayed hateful taglines on the screen.

zee news

CJP had written to Zee on July 9, seeking an apology “for carrying such irresponsible, inflammatory and violence-inducing content”. After failing to get a response, CJP filed an official complaint with the NBSA on July 30 last year.

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At the hearing on March 28, Zee News argued that six poets were invited to the programme ‘to invoke patriotic and nationalistic feelings among the people’ as the government had released videos of 2016 surgical strikes. Zee also submitted ‘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.’

Zee news

NBSA ruled that Zee did not follow impartiality, neutrality and fairness. They said the channel did ‘not ensure that diverse views are covered… especially on a controversial subject, without giving undue prominence to any particular view.’

Furthermore, the broadcasters were also held in breach of glamorizing violence and promoting individuals advocating violence.

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In its hearing the authority said, “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.”

NBSA said principles of self-regulation for maintaining national security was also violated by the channel.

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