Jamia Millia Islamia university wrote to the Education Ministry on Thursday, 27 August, and the Indian Police Service criticised Sudarshan TV head Suresh Chavhanke, after the channel aired a controversial promo for a show, casting aspersions on the presence of Muslims in the civil services.
The Delhi High Court, on Friday, also stayed the broadcast of the controversial show which was to be aired by Sudarshan TV on Friday itself, at 8 pm.
In a promo for a show to be aired on Friday, Noida-based Sudarshan News TV claimed to expose an alleged conspiracy behind how there is an ‘overwhelming’ number of Muslims in the civil services.
The promo was shared by Sudarshan TV with the hashtag #UPSC_Jihad, and emphatically asked deeply communal questions such as:
“Think, what if a Jihadi from Jamia is your District Magistrate?”
This video, however, did not go down well with many, including the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, and Jamia Millia Islamia.
IPS ASSOCIATION'S RESPONSE
The IPS Association came forward to decry the news story and referred to it as a “communal and irresponsible piece of journalism,” saying:
“A news story targeting candidates in civil services on the basis of religion is being promoted by Sudarshan TV. We condemn the communal and irresponsible piece of journalism.”
Responding to IPS Association’s comment, however, Chavhanke tweeted: “Unfortunate that @IPS_Association twisting without knowing the issue (sic).”
Further, Chavhanke invited the IPS Association to participate in the program.
JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA REACTS
Jamia Millia Islamia wrote to the Education Ministry, requesting it to take appropriate action, reported news agency IANS.
The university pointed out that Sudarshan TV has not merely attempted to tarnish the image of the university and a particular community, but also that of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
In a tweet on Thursday, Jamia had also said that it plans to take legal action against Sudarshan TV.
The Jamia Teachers’ Association has also requested the university administration to file a criminal defamation suit against Chavhanke, reported The Wire. The Teachers’ Association, in a statement, said:
“It is worth mentioning that Jamia Millia Islamia stood as number one Central University of the nation in an assessment by the MHRD and media persons/their masters are using a cruel approach against 100 year old University and the Indians who serve the nation through administrative services. JTA thanks all who stand in solidarity with fellow Indians and believe in the constitution of India.”
However, the University Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar had told The Indian Express that it is unlikely that they will be taking Sudarshan TV to court for it would give them too much importance.
“As far as our students are concerned, 30 students from RCA were selected this time out of which 16 are Muslims and 14 are Hindus. Since they were all called jihadis, it means 16 were Muslim jihadis and 14 others were Hindu jihadis. India has been given a new secular definition of jihadis.”Najma Akhtar to Indian Express.
Referring to the video as a “hate story,” the Indian Police Foundation, an independent think-tank tweeted:
Meanwhile, activist Saket Gokhale wrote to the Chairman of UPSC demanding urgent stand against “the communal dog-whistle instigated by @SureshChavhanke against Muslim UPSC candidates & officers.”
Further, activist and former TV host Tehseen Poonawalla tweeted that he has filed a complaint before the News Broadcasting Association.
(With inputs from IANS, The Wire and The Indian Express.)