Delhi HC stays broadcast of Sudarshan News show on ‘infiltration of Muslims’ in Civil Services

The Delhi High Court Friday stayed the broadcast of a show by Sudarshan News channel, which claimed to be an “expose” on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services, LiveLaw reported.

The stay order was passed by a single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla, on a plea filed by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia.

The promo of the show shared by the channel’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke with hashtag ‘UPSC Jihad’ has attracted criticism from several quarters. On August 26, Chavhanke had tweeted the trailer of his upcoming show, which he claimed was an “expose” on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services.

In the video, he called those passing out of Jamia’s Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) and clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as “Jamia ke Jihadi”.

On Thursday, Jamia Millia Islamia wrote to the Union Education Ministry asking them to take action against Sudarshan News channel and its editor-in-chief Chavhanke for “tarnishing” the image of the university.

Jamia V-C Najma Akhtar told The Indian Express that the university is not likely to go to court over the issue. She also said Chavhanke had given a new “secular definition” of jihadi: “We don’t want to 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.”

Responding to the allegations, Chavhanke had said he would say what he has to on his show on Friday night. “I don’t know if there are Hindus (in RCA). Those opposing the word jihadi should first answer if they think it is an abuse. I maintain my stand and want to ask how their (Muslim) numbers are increasing in civil services. It’s because of them being given back door favour, option of choosing Islamist studies, Urdu language, etc. If my show is found unconstitutional or doesn’t meet the standard of broadcast authority, then let there be action against me.”

The IPS Association also termed the show “irresponsible”. “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,” the association tweeted.

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