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Hon Minister Fifield (Communications), Please Stop SBS’s Hatred & Propaganda Against India

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SBS, a state-run media broadcasting, has been running hate-filled propaganda against India for a long time. This deliberate and ongoing smear campaign has created a deep resentment among the Australian-Indian community. As one of the most peaceful and positively contributing community, Australian-Indians wish to strongly condemn SBS’s effort to divide multi-cultural society of Australia and demands that people at SBS responsible for this hate-campaign are brought to justice.

Few examples where SBS’s hate campaign against India has been caught and proven:   

1. On the eve of India’s Independence Day on 15th Aug 2017, SBS published a video, which shows the state of Jammu & Kashmir, a province of India, as a separate entity. (as shown on map above)

This act is highly offensive for Indian Diaspora and seems to be agenda driven on the part of SBS. Jammu and Kashmir, like any other state, is an integral part of India and such attempts by SBS would be seen as a direct attack on the sovereignty of India. No Indian, whether in India or overseas would tolerate such propaganda.

More Importantly, this type of offensive content creates a divide in the multi-cultural society of Australia and responsible media organisation should never propagate such lies.
Link to the offensive video

2. On 18 Aug 2016, SBS published another factually wrong propaganda story about Indian Olympian PV Sindhu with the headline: “While PV Sindhu was toiling for a medal, people were googling her caste”. Instead of focusing on Sindhu’s win in Olympic, the story attempted to spread a lie that “millions of Indians were Googling PV Sindhu’s caste after her win in Olympic”

This story was not only a blatant lie but also had an ulterior motive to divide Indian community in the name of caste and paint Indian community in a bad light among larger Australian society.

On community’s resentment and complaints, SBS had to initiate an internal enquiry on this story and it was proved that the story was wrong and based on fabricated facts.

Finally, SBS had to apologize in writing for this story.
Link for SBS’s propaganda-ridden story
Link for SBS’s written apology

3. On 20th Jan 2017, SBS published a false and biased story with the headline: “Non-Resident Indians flocking to Punjab to campaign for Aam Aadmi Party”.

This story was not only biased and based on wrong facts, but it also tried to mislead the Indian diaspora in Australia in favour of a particular political party in India. Doing such biased story, SBS played a role of promoter of a political party rather than an unbiased media organisation, which runs on taxpayers’ money is expected to be.

As this story angered a large section of Australian-Indian community, SBS had to launch an inquiry on our complaint. The ombudsman finally found that story was not balanced and breached of the code of ethics. SBS had to apologise in writing for publishing this story.
Link to the biased story
Link for SBS’s written apology

4. On 31st Jan 2017, SBS published a story with misleading headline “Indian restaurant chef throws chilli powder at customer who complained about food”, which was factually wrong.

SBS attempted to mislead Australian community in multiple ways in this story, first by wrongly attributing the chef as Indian, whereas the chef was actually from Bangladesh. Second, hiding the fact that the incident occurred in the UK to mislead the readers in thinking that the new was local in Australia.

SBS not only tried to mislead its readers in the headline but also falsely attributed the chef as being Indian within the story as well.

It was evident that SBS had ulterior motives behind knowingly publishing this factually wrong story as SBS later, down in the story revealed the real identity of the chef as being Bangladeshi.

Such deliberate effort to mislead the Australian public destroys the trust of the public ought to have in a media organisation, especially when it is a state-run organisation funded by taxpayers’ money.
Link to the misleading story

Similarly, SBS has been continuously publishing and posting a large number of stories from other countries while hiding the information of source-country to mislead its readers into thinking the story was from Australia. It is not surprising that the most of such stories were handpicked from all around the world to portray Australian-Indian community in a bad light.

There are a large number of such misleading, false and agenda-ridden stories published by SBS showing its ongoing propaganda against India, Indian community and Indian culture. More of such examples are provided on this site:

Effects of such hatred and lies being spread by a state run media organisation like SBS are very dangerous and long lasting on the wider Australian society. They include:

  1. Such negative and fabricated propaganda hurts the sentiments of Indian Diaspora living in Australia and neighbouring countries, which reduces their faith in Australia media in general and discourages them to participate.
  2. People will lose the trust in media, and in the case of SBS, the damage this propaganda has caused is already very hard to repair.
  3. Taxpayers are angered to their elected representatives for not representing their voices.
  4. Such smear-campaign harms the very fabric of multicultural society of Australia. Whereas the biggest irony is, SBS claims to be the multi-cultural media organisation and it is blatantly working against that very principle.
  5. Adverse effects on the bilateral relationship between Australia and India. India is the largest democracy in the world and the largest sources of skilled and most positive contributing migrants in Australia.

We urge Hon. Mitch Fifield, Ministers of Communications and the Arts of Australia to take necessary action urgently to protect the multicultural fabric of Australia. We would like to recommend these following steps:

  1. Immediately launch an inquiry to investigate the wider agenda in SBS against India and Indian community.
  2. Direct SBS to immediately retract all such material that is based on false and misleading facts.
  3. Direct SBS to extend an unconditional apology to the community.
  4. Find the individuals responsible for this propaganda and hold them accountable for their actions
  5. Establish a forum consisting members of the community, editorial leaders of SBS and management of SBS to create an efficient channel of two-way feedback, to prevent such incidents in future.


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