15 Sept 2023

Journalists Body Said This In Response To INDIA Alliance Move To Boycott Some TV Anchors

New Delhi: The opposition alliance INDIA on Thursday said that it will boycott shows of 14 television anchors on several platforms. The BJP, however, compared this decision with the Emergency.

The media committee of the bloc has decided to boycott the programmes of these journalists and not send their representatives on shows, events or debates hosted by them on such channels or platforms. The committee has listed the names of such journalists.

The list of anchors and TV news channels mentioned by INDIA alliance are - Aman Chopra, Amish Devgan and Anand Narasimhan of News18, Aditi Tyagi of Bharat Express, Ashok Shrivastav of DD News, Sudhir Chaudhary and Chitra Tripathi of Aaj Tak, Rubika Liyaquat of Bharat24, Gaurav Sawant and Shiv Aroor of India Today, Prachi Parashar of India TV, Navika Kumar and Sushant Sinha of Times Now Navbharat, and Arnab Goswami of Republic Bharat.  

Leaders of opposition parties have often accused some TV anchors of supporting BJP and RSS. Rahul Gandhi was also seen taunting the media many times.

Attack on democracy: NUJ

However, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) termed the boycott as an attack on democracy. It said that the opposition parties had politicised the media.

The president of National Union of Journalists linked to the International Federation of Journalists, Ras Bihari said in a statement that this decision of the opposition parties is a "black chapter" of repression on the media in India's democratic history.

"This is totally wrong and unacceptable," he said, adding that this reflects the lack of democratic values in these parties.

Some channels have put up a nafrat ka bazaar: Khera

India Alliance leaders, however, have justified the move. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said some channels have put up a 'nafrat ka bazaar' (market for hatred) for the last nine years and the INDIA parties have decided not to legitimize this "hate-filled narrative" which is corroding our society.

"We are not opposed to any of the anchors, but we do not want to be a party to any such action which adds hatred in society. We will not be customers in this market of this hate," Khera said.

"We have taken this decision and issued this list with a heavy heart. We hope these anchors will do some introspection and take some corrective measures," the Congress leader added.

Another senior leader of the Alliance said these people not only support RSS and BJP but they also poison the society. These people choose such issues which spread communal tension. They work under propaganda every day. This is not just a matter of political bias, it is also a matter of violation of the values of journalism, he said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti's daughter and her media advisor Iltija Mufti said the decision to boycott the anchors was long overdue.

"INDIA alliance's decision to boycott godi media anchors who only spew vitriol was long overdue. Their venomous shows have put the masses on a slow drip of bigotry by demonizing minorities," Iltija posted on X.

The AAP also shared the list of journalists and the statement issued by the INDIA media committee on its X handle using the hashtag "#JudegaBharatJeetegaIndia".

BJP hit out at the opposition bloc

Union minister Hardeep Puri compared the move to the Emergency that curbed media rights.

"The only instance we have seen of civil liberties being curtailed in India was during the Emergency in 1975," he said in a post on X.

BJP chief JP Nadda accused the Opposition bloc- INDIA of “bullying the media” and “threatening individual journalists”. In his post on X, JP Nadda also came down heavily on Congress, alleging that the grand old party has several instances of 'silencing' those with differing views.

Union minister Anurag Thakur also hit out at the opposition bloc, saying this move shows their desperation.

BJP's IT department head Amit Malviya also took to X to say, "So I.N.D.I.A Alliance has released a list of journalists, who refused to even bend, when the Opposition expected them to crawl."

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