‘We can’t even imagine what it’s like’: A woman is suing the BBC over its coverage of the Hindustan Times cartoon
India’s largest newspaper has launched a class action against the BBC alleging that the broadcaster’s coverage of a cartoon depicting a Hindu woman as a sexual object is “inherently offensive and offensive” and has violated her right to freedom of expression.
The case was filed by a woman, known only as M, in the district court of Sonepat, Uttar Pradesh, in a case that has drawn international attention.
M alleges that the BBC’s coverage “violated the freedom of speech and the right to dignity of the complainant” and that it “indirectly caused anxiety and distress to the complainant.”
According to a copy of the complaint, the BBC “did not inform” the complainant about the complaint and did not “give her any opportunity to withdraw the complaint.”
The BBC’s statement of defence in the case reads in part:The BBC does not intend to comment on individual cases.
The BBC takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and we take them very seriously indeed.
The allegation of the cartoon in question, which was published in the January issue of the newspaper, was made by a person who has been publicly identified.
The complaint has sparked anger on social media with some people calling the BBC the “Jill Corleone of journalism.”
The case has attracted a strong response from many in the Indian media and the media watchdog Assocham has called for the BBC to immediately “cease and desist” from publishing the cartoon and to “ceremoniously withdraw the article.”
While the BBC has not yet commented on the complaint publicly, the publisher of the Indian newspaper says the newspaper is taking the matter “very seriously” and “will take all appropriate action.”
“We are taking the complaint very seriously as we are a private publication.
We are taking it very seriously,” said A.R. Sengupta.
“We are also taking this matter very seriously to get it taken to the media authorities.”
“This is not a matter of the media but of a private company who has breached its fiduciary duties.
The complainant, who is a resident of the UK, is a private citizen and has been made to suffer this sort of hurt and hurt and pain,” he added.
According to the BBC, the cartoon is a work of fiction that has been published in various editions of the magazine.
The newspaper says it did not use the cartoon to “target any religion.”
The complaint comes after a series of controversies involving the BBC in recent years.
In 2016, the corporation was criticized for “inadvertently” showing a video of a Hindu man beating a Muslim woman to death.
The newspaper has faced other criticism, however, including allegations that the company had paid a man to sexually assault a Muslim girl in India.