Tribal Body Files Police Complaint Against Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary's On-Air Remarks

Chaudhary made these comments after Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

New Delhi: A tribal group has filed a police complaint under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary for remarks made on air after Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

Newslaundry has reported on the complaint with detailed transcripts and translations of what Chaudhary said – remarks against which commentators on social media have been outraging. Chaudhary made these comments during his primetime show Black and White, on January 31.

In what Newslaundry describes as an “innuendo-laden tirade,” Chaudhury appeared to take potshots at the Sorens’ tribal background. He said a night in jail – Soren has since been remanded to five days of custody – can be compared to “going back” years like “an Adivasi to the jungle”, drawing an unsubstantiated parallel between tribals’ lives and forests.

Where will he spend tonight? He is accustomed to a lavish lifestyle. But today, in a way, it will be like going back by 20, 30, 40 years like an Adivasi to the jungle. It will be a tough night,” said Chaudhary, according to Newslaundry.

Chaudhary also said that those in the community who are economically better off should not be given reservation.

“Does this family have the right to say that it is poor?…They are not tribals, they live in big, big bungalows,” he said.

The complaint has been filed by the Aadivasi Sena in Ranchi. No first information report has been registered yet.

Fact-check efforts often point to errors in Chaudhary’s shows.

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) has faulted Zee News, under Chaudhary then, for describing members of the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), who are all former civil servants, “cunning” and a “gang”.

In 2020, a made-up chart on ‘jihad’ lifted from a five-year old Facebook post, and his associated commentary on it landed Chaudhary in trouble.

In 2019, expelled Trinamool Congress MP Moitra had filed a criminal defamation case against Chaudhary after he alleged that her speech in parliament on the ‘early signs of fascism’ was plagiarised from an article written by Martin Longman on US President Donald Trump.

On social media, commentators have called for action against Chaudhary.