Jamia Millia Islamia Thursday wrote to the Union Education Ministry asking them to take action against Sudarshan News channel and its editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke for “tarnishing” the image of the university.
Chavhanke had tweeted a trailer of his upcoming show, which he claimed was an “expose” on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services with the hashtag ‘UPSC Jihad’ on August 26. 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”.
“We have written to the Education Ministry informing them about the whole episode and requested them to take appropriate action. We told them that Sudarshan channel has not only tried to tarnish the image of JMI and a particular community but the image of UPSC also,” said Jamia PRO Ahmed Azeem.
लोकतंत्र के सबसे महत्वपूर्ण स्तंभ कार्यपालिका के सबसे बड़े पदों पर मुस्लिम घुसपैठ का पर्दाफ़ाश.
— Suresh Chavhanke “Sudarshan News” (@SureshChavhanke) August 25, 2020
The IPS Association called the remarks “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.
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.”
The Jamia Teachers’ Association has demanded that a criminal defamation suit be filed by the administration against “anti-Indian and anti-JMI remarks by traitor Suresh Chavhanke”. “A number of derogatory words have been used by the said CMD of Sudarshan News which openly instigates, spewing venom against fellow citizens, and trying to divide people of India,” JTA said.
Responding to the allegations, Chavhanke said he will say what he has to on his show which airs 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.”