NBSA said the channel needs to air the text (static) on full screen in large font size with a clearly audible voice-over (in slow speed) express an unconditional apology. The NBSA has asked Republic TV to air the following text as an apology on 14th October at 10 pm.
The texts which must be aired by Republic are: “Republic TV tenders an unconditional apology for the use of the language in the email dated 10.7.2019 which carried the words “carries no merit to warrant such intense pseudo judicial oversight”, with regard to NBSA’s decision dated 1.5.2019 at the time when it was called for a hearing on 10.7.2019 in respect of the complaint with regard to a programme titled “Congress Bharat Mata Claim” aired by Republic TV on 12.3.2019 at 10 pm. We would like to state that it was never our intention to undermine the authority of the NBSA in any manner. We have the highest regard for the NBSA, its Chairperson and Members. Kindly accept this unconditional apology for closure of the same.”
The NBSA has also directed the broadcaster to submit a CD containing the telecast with particulars of the date and time of the telecast, within one week of telecast, as proof of compliance. After such a CD is submitted by the broadcaster, the matter will be closed.
A complaint was filed by Sharad Shah against the manner in which Republic TV anchor conducted a debate show titled ‘The Debate 2 – #The Congress Bharatmata Claim’. The complainant escalated the complaint to NBSA on 22.3.2019 and 10.4.2019 as the complainant did not receive a reply to his complaint dated 13.3.2019.
As per complainant’s allegations, the telecast ‘The Debate 2 – #The Congress Bharatmata Claim’, the anchor with ample support of RSS “ideologues” and BJP Spokesperson pilloried Karim Baig, Muslim participant in the debate, to say ‘Bharatmata Ki Jai’ implying that he was not a patriot if he did not say that on the program.
Shah contended that such debates cannot be used for inquisition and that the program clearly. violated the following Guidelines Covering Reportage of News Broadcasters Association 9. Racial & Religious Harmony; 9.1 Racial and religious stereotyping should be avoided and 9.2 Caution should be exercised in reporting content which denigrates or is likely to offend the sensitivities of any racial or religious group or that may create religious intolerance or disharmony.
Republic TV in its reply dated 27.3.2019 to the complainant said that ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is a patriotic slogan which is chanted in India since time immemorial; and that it means that we are all equal irrespective of caste, creed, religion and language and are children of this country; that this chant was used during the freedom struggle against the British empire and that even today the slogan is used often by the Indian Army. Republic TV added that each anchor and news presenter have his/her own unique way of presenting news, stories or of hosting debates; and that in all debates there will always be people representing different views and the aim of the debate is to address the issues at hand and have a constructive dialogue.