Open Letter To The Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting For Banning Religious And Political Debates On News Channels
My name is Nitin Naresh and I am resident of New Delhi, India
I, on behalf of all the general public, write to draw your attention towards the poor quality and degrading content broadcasting by news channels.
This letter is focusing solely on the religious and political debates held on TV channels which are manipulating the opinion of general public instead of giving relevant fact based information and let them form their opinion.
When a 24*7 news channels started broadcasting news their main purpose was to given facts based news to the general public sitting in front of TV to see what is happening around them and the world in general. But instead giving them these news these news channels have started a new trend of conducting political and religious debates which have very degrading content and foul language.
The major chunk of population getting effected and influenced from these debates is falling within the age range of 12 to 30 years. This particular age group is specifically gets influenced and manipulated very easily.
We can see the impact of these religious and political debates in recent events where engineering students of age 20 years old have made an app called BULLAI BAI where you call sell Muslim women. This particular event single handedly and clearly shows that the even the educated mass of our population not immune from getting influenced.
The hatred to take these drastic steps and be proud of it shows that the emotions are deeply inculcated in people’s mind. In order to reverse this damage these news channel debates about religion and politics be stopped.
These debate anchors clearly passing on the legacy that being an arrogant, impolite and rude is completely acceptable if you are right or in a position of power. Not only this some debates anchor deliberately indulges in verbal spats for increasing their shows TRP and viewership. Supreme Court has also stated that, “Debates on TV news channels are causing more pollution than anybody with statements made in the court being taken out of context”. When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta citied these debated in Supreme Court, Judges first instance was, “Debates on TV are creating more pollution than anybody.
They don’t understand what is happening and what the issue is. Statements are taken out of context. Everyone has their own agenda. We can’t help and we can’t control. We are focusing on working out the solution”.
Not only this there a case filed by NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace last year, on April 6 and November 12, respectively. While Times Now had held a discussion on activists’ presence at the women-led sit-in at Shaheen Bagh, News Nation had telecast a debate on what it called a “conversion jihad”. The NDBSA at that time also observed that, “The broadcaster is warned that in future if such programs are telecast which violate the Code of Ethics and Guidelines, NBDSA will take suitable action against the broadcaster”.
NSBSA also issued warning to these news channels about refraining from using political agendas in any kind of debate while analyzing that Times Now telecast of March 9 2020 “was devoid of objectivity” and was trying to create a specified narrative.
They also said that in order to avoid objectivity they should focus on conclusion based on debates and discussions of panelist instead of forcing their own opinion by screaming and degrading others. Furthermore the authority also said that the news channel in case has specifically shown bits and pieces of information of activist Teesta Setalvad at Shaheen Bagh so that they manipulate public at large and the essence of her statement was totally changed and fabricated.
“In this context, using bold headlines and attributing her to be ‘Modi baiter’ seems out of context and doesn’t appear to be an objective assessment of her speech, lacks neutrality and accuracy and also violates guidelines which require that facts should be clearly distinguishable from, and not be mixed up with, opinion, analysis and comment.”
Pointing out another channel incident of News nation, NBDSA also said that news anchor deliberately use these caption and statement such as, “Memchand zinda hai jamaat sharminda hai”, “500 Hindu kaise banaye Muslim?” and “Kya Mewat Pakistan ban gaya?”, to provoke and manipulate public at large on Nov 6, 2020.
Apart from this, these news channels a going bonkers over TRPs and viewership that there was full fledged TRP scam in 2020 by news channels namely Republic TV, Box Cinema, and Fakt Marathi. This clearly shows that what is happen now a day on news channels is focusing mostly on TRPs and viewership for manipulating people and propagandizing their own agendas and opinions. In order to put a stop on this we need to ban religious and political debates on news channels.
I would immediately like to request to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to put a ban on these political and religious debates.
With Warm Regards