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Aaj Tak ordered to take down fictional video targeting Rahul Gandhi

Aaj Tak ordered to take down fictional video targeting Rahul Gandhi

Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary. | Screengrab via @sudhirchaudhary72 / Instagram

New Delhi: Television news channel Aaj Tak was ordered by the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority to remove "fictional videos" of a programme in which anchor Sudhir Chaudhary narrated the story of a highway dacoit while discussing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's conviction in a 2019 defamation case from its website and social media handles.

The show, Black and White, included animations of a man plundering people at gunpoint and then being apprehended by police. During the episode, Chaudhary also linked to a social media post by Congress politician Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, claiming that she and her party were protecting Rahul Gandhi, reported.

In the order, the news regulatory body said on Wednesday that “the story of the robber depicted in the broadcast and the imputation it carried with it concerning Rahul Gandhi’s conviction, was not in good taste and should have been avoided”.

It also advised the channel to be cautious while airing fictional content in the future.

The move followed a complaint filed by Srinivas BV, national president of the Indian Youth Congress.

The government has also directed television news stations News18 India, Times Now Navbharat, and Aaj Tak to remove videos of five shows that promote bigotry and communal strife.

The news regulatory authority initiated action against the news networks after receiving complaints from activist Indrajeet Ghorpade.

In the case of News18 India, the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority levied a Rs 50,000 fine for three broadcasts airing in 2022. Two of these shows were hosted by Aman Chopra and one by Amish Devgan.

Chopra and Devgan claimed that Shraddha Walker's murder in 2022 by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala was motivated by "love jihad".

"Love jihad" is a Hindutva conspiracy theory that accuses Muslim men of engaging in romantic relationships with Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam.

“NBDSA stated that the term ‘love jihad’ should not be used loosely and should be used with great introspection in future broadcasts as religious stereotyping can corrode the secular fabric of the country, cause irreparable harm to a community and create religious intolerance or disharmony,” the order said.

The news regulatory board also fined Times Now Navbharat Rs 1 lakh for its "love jihad" show.

In its judgement against Aaj Tak, the news regulatory authority asked the station to remove a video of a show hosted by Sudhir Chaudhary on violence during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami in 2023, claiming that he targeted the entire Muslim community owing to the actions of certain miscreants.

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TAGS:Rahul GandhiAaj TakNBDSA
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