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NBSA Finds No Fault With 'Aaj Tak' Report On Indian Army Amid Chinese Border Incursion

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
11 Dec 2020 3:40 AM GMT
NBSA Finds No Fault With Aaj Tak Report On Indian Army Amid Chinese Border Incursion
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The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has closed a complaint filed against 'AajTak' news channel alleging that it made 'distasteful, disparaging and insensitive' remarks on the Indian army amid the Chinese incursions at India border in June 2020. The authority noted that no violation of the Programme Code or journalistic norms, as alleged by the Complainant, film...

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The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has closed a complaint filed against 'AajTak' news channel alleging that it made 'distasteful, disparaging and insensitive' remarks on the Indian army amid the Chinese incursions at India border in June 2020.

The authority noted that no violation of the Programme Code or journalistic norms, as alleged by the Complainant, film producer Nilesh Navalakha, was done by the channel.

In his complaint, Navalakha had alleged that during a discussion of India-China stand-off, news anchor Ms. Sweta Singh and her colleague Mr. Rohit Sardana attacked the sovereignty and integrity of India by blaming the army for Chinese intrusion.

Allegedly, they had said, "if the People's Liberation Army entered Indian territory and our soldiers were sleeping, then it's on the Army and not on the government because the government is not on patrolling duty, the Army is."

'Aaj Tak Insulted Every Hero Of Indian Armed Forces' : Complaint Before I&B Ministry Seeks Suspension Of Channel

The Complainant, represented by Advocates Amit Pai, Rajesh Inamdar and Shashwat Anand,  had said that the channel portrayed the entire incident to be a fault of the armed personnel. The channel and anchor, by pointing fingers at the Armed Forces, have committed serious and palpable contravention of the Programme Code, Journalistic Ethics and all tenets of justice and propriety, alleged the complainant.

In response, AajTak had submitted that the Complainant had cherry-picked the anchors' statements and a perusal of the video clip in its entirety will make it evident that they were only supporting the Armed Forces.

It was submitted that the statements made by the channel/Anchor were analysis of the questions raised against Armed Forces by certain politicians and the meaning and intention of the entire discussion was opposite to what the complainant had interpreted.

"The complainant has randomly picked up from the entire discussion is not a comment that is made by us against our Armed Forces. In fact, it was merely an analysis of the questions raised against our Armed Forces by certain politicians because they believe, by raising such questions they were indirectly questioning the capability and credibility of our Armed Forces which is not acceptable," the channel explained.

It argued,

"no organ or wing of the Government is immune from accountability and for functioning of a healthy democracy, it is important that the role of every organ in dealing with any crisis should be analyzed and deliberated upon. The right of inviting discussion and express opinion on an incident which has posed threat to national security cannot be curbed by any means."

Finding merit in these submissions, the authority headed by Justice AK Sikri, former judge of the Supreme Court, said :

"NBSA agreed with the observations made by the broadcaster that instead of seeing the programme in its entirety, the complainant has chosen to complain about certain questions being asked by the anchor. NBSA found that the allegation that the anchor instead of questioning the government in power chose to put the blame on the army was not correct. On the contrary NBSA found that the anchor in her response has requested that there is need to put a full stop to this manner of discourse, which was creating a war like situation between the two countries and this was being reported by the media both domestically and internationally."

Also Read : NBSA Slams TV Channels For Vilifying Reports Against Rakul Preet Singh; Zee Asked To Apologize; Videos To Be Taken Down




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