Deletion of graphics would not condone blatant code violation by Sudarshan TV, SC told
The Supreme Court has been told that any tailoring or deletion of a few graphics by Sudarshan TV would not change the nature and object of its series 'UPSC Jihad', which is a classic example of hate speech and spewing of venom.
In an affidavit, advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan, on whose plea the court restrained the telecast of the programme, contended that the TV channel "deliberately and wilfully sought to misrepresent the show as being an expose on the role of the Zakat Foundation of India in training aspiring civil servants."
"It is respectfully submitted that the tone, tenor and contents of the show go far beyond this, and seeks to represent Muslims as being part of a grand conspiracy to "capture" the civil services," he said.
"This central theme is underscored with imagery, such as flames, blasts and a man in a green shirt and beard, meant to reinforce the message that Muslims are terrorists. This undermines the status and rights of Muslims as equal citizens in a democracy with the right as all others to have a place at every tier of public and government life," he added.
The petitioner claimed that broadcasts of the four episodes of the show were sufficient for an appropriate action to be taken under the law by banning the complete series, "UPSC Jihad" which by the title itself reflects the antagonistic mind set against a particular community and was nothing but a prime example of virulent Islamophobia.
He said any tailoring of future broadcasts will not and cannot condone the blatant violation of the programme code by news channel's editor in chief Suresh Chavhanke and its complete disregard of the assurance and undertaking given to the Union government.
The lawyer-petitioner claimed nothing has transpired between September 15 when the court restrained the channel and now to necessitate any modification of the order.
The Union government's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has side-stepped the extremely important issue of the contents of the show being replete with hate speech and messages inciting viewers against the Muslim community, and has not addressed any of the comments made on air by Chavhanke.
Khan alleged that Chavhanke repeatedly used highly provocative and militaristic rhetoric to describe Muslims. He was openly engaging in hate speech and a misinformation campaign to vilify Muslims as a community by seeking to fear-monger that Muslims are increasing in number and are out to exclusively corner the benefits of reservation for themselves.
These are backward classes among Muslims which get the benefit of the OBC category e.g. Hajjams, Nai (barbers), Quershi (butchers), dhobi, fakir etc but blatant falsehood was shown as if Muslims were taking away all the benefits, he pointed out.
The top court, which had on September 18 asked the channel to show how it would assuage its concern, is scheduled to take up the matter on Monday. The channel, in its affidavit, asked the court how the shows on 'Hindu Terror' with the most sacred symbols were allowed to air in other channels.