Amul faces backlash for backing Sudarshan TV in decrying Muslims

The broadcast was stayed by the Delhi High Court but the Supreme Court refused to halt the show from being aired.

New Delhi: A clip of Suresh Chavhanke, the editor of Sudarshan News TV went viral this week for a promo of the show, titled ‘UPSC Jihad’. The promo claimed to ‘expose’ Muslims who cleared the UPSC exam and ‘infiltrating’ the executive.

Terming Muslims “intruders” into the bureaucracy, Suresh questioned how members of the minority community are clearing the prestigious civil services exam in large numbers. He referred to students of Jamia’s Residential Coaching Academy as “Jihadis of Jamia” and created the hashtag UPSC_Jihad.

Students of Jamia Milia Islamis filed a petition against the show, the broadcast was stayed by the Delhi High Court but the Supreme Court refused to halt the show from being aired. Subsequently, a show was aired with Suresh Chavhakne playing the victim, reported Newslaundry. Two of the show’s sponsors were dairy cooperative Amul, and the Uttar Pradesh government.

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“We have called a meeting to discuss the next course of action against the TV channel for airing mala fide content. Every student of Jamia’s Residential Coaching Academy who has cleared the UPSC exam should file an FIR against the channel for its hateful content,” Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, told IANS.

She also said “Not many know that out of 30 students of Jamia’s Residential Coaching Academy who have cleared the UPSC this year, almost 50% are non-Muslims.”

On Thursday, Jamia Millia Islamia wrote to the Education Ministry, informing it about the issue and requesting it to take appropriate action.

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“Sudarshan TV has not only tried to tarnish the image of the university and a particular community but that of the Union Public Service Commission too,” Ahmed Azeem, Jamia Millia Islamia PRO said.

Newslaundry condemns Amul

The Newslaundry story was also picked up by Stop Funding Hate, an international group that engages with advertisers. #Boycott_Amul then began to trend online, with many questioning why the brand is funding a channel that is hateful. 

Newslaundry’s Executive Editor Manisha Pande said the point is to alert the brand in case they don’t know where their ad is being placed, and not to ban or boycott them. 

“The point of our series is to get news consumers to engage with news and understand the news economy. Big Media is run entirely on ad money: government ads and corporate ads,” she said. 

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