Opposition coalition INDIA announces boycott of news anchors over communal ‘polarisation’

The Opposition bloc released a list of 14 news anchors from nine TV channels. The boycott is due to anchors stressing on "communal polarising" while deflecting the issues of public interest.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Sep 14, 2023 | 5:53 PMUpdated Sep 14, 2023 | 6:14 PM

Opposition coalition INDIA announces boycott of news anchors over communal ‘polarisation’

The Opposition bloc INDIA announced on Thursday, 14 September, that it would boycott the shows and events of 14 news anchors from nine TV channels due to their stress on “communal polarising” while deflecting the issues of public interest.

The media committee of the INDIA bloc said its parties would not send their representatives on shows and events of news anchors 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.

Also read: Bharat Jodo Yatra 2.0 to be INDIA bloc’s ‘brahmastra’ campaign

Constantly polarise communal issues

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, who posted the list on X, told South First, “The INDIA bloc does not want to be an alliance that promotes any attempt or debate that constantly polarises the communal issues in the country. We are not that bloc. That is why this decision has been taken to boycott these anchors.”

Opposition alliance INDIA announces boycott of news anchors over communal "polarisation"

List released by INDIA bloc of boycotting the shows and events of 14 news anchors from nine TV channels. (X)

He added that the channels never host shows on issues of public interest like unemployment, education, or inflation.

As per a Newslaundry report, the decision to boycott the shows of these news anchors was taken after the INDIA bloc’s first coordination committee meeting on 13 September, which was attended by 12 parties.

It added that the boycotted channels would be “observed over the next few months” and the ban would be withdrawn “if there is improvement”.

However, if there was no improvement, measures like a ban on advertisements on these channels could also be adopted, Newslaundry said, quoting a committee member.

“So far, there is no clear decision over this. We have to wait and watch,” Khera said.

Also read: INDIA bloc holds first meeting of its Coordination Committee

FIR against Aaj Tak anchor 

The Karnataka police have filed an FIR against Sudhir Chaudhary, the consulting editor of Aaj Tak, for promoting communal enmity in a show he hosted on the television news channel.

The Seshadripuram police in Bengaluru on 12 September registered the FIR against the channel, Chaudhary, and the organiser of the news programme for allegedly spreading false and communally inflammatory news.

The complaint was filed after the channel ran a show with alleged misleading and communally inflammatory claims about a scheme under the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation (KMDC).

The case was registered based on a complaint by one Shivakumar, an assistant administrative officer with the KMDC.

He accused the channel of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and for acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.

Also read: What Karnataka police FIR against Sudhir Chaudhary says