Times Now Navbharat directed to remove video over communal tilt in reporting Muslim men at garbatext_fields
New Delhi: The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has directed Times Now Navbharat to take down a video from its September 2022 show, in which the anchor had given a communal colour to the incident of Muslim men entering a garba event, who were later assaulted by Bajrang Dal members.
The regulatory body's decision comes in response to complaints filed by two individuals who claimed that the news channel's program unfairly targeted the Muslim community, violating broadcasting standards.
The controversy revolves around a show aired on September 29, 2022, addressing the assault of a Muslim man by Bajrang Dal members during a garba event. While the channel asserted that the focus was on women's safety at public events, the complainants argued that the ticker during the broadcast, presented by the channel's editor-in-chief Navika Kumar, added a communal angle to the reporting.
One complainant voiced concern about the anchor's questioning on national television, which allegedly baselessly suggested that Muslim men only attend garba events and no other Hindu festivals. The complainant contended that such statements targeted the entire Muslim community for the actions of a few individuals, sowing seeds of disharmony.
The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority's order emphasized that if the program had focused solely on women's safety, it would not have found fault with the reportage. However, it criticized the broadcaster for giving the coverage a communal tilt, creating an impression that men from a specific community were miscreants harming women from another community during the festival.
The regulatory body cautioned Times Now Navbharat against using similar tickers in the future and advised against giving communal colour to reporting such incidents. The order highlighted a violation of guidelines aimed at preventing communal colouring in reporting crime, riots, rumours, and related incidents.