Radio host rejects Surrey Women’s Centre criticism

Group plans to complain to the CRTC about post-murder talk show.

Ravinder Bhangu

A Surrey radio host is flatly rejecting allegations made regarding remarks on his show after a woman was murdered last month.

The Surrey Women’s Centre (SWC) is planning to lodge a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that Harjinder Thind’s call-in show on RED FM questioned the freedoms of women in this country. It aired the day after the July 28 killing of 24-year-old Ravinder Bhangu.

SWC spokesperson Corrine Arthur said Thind was questioning whether women in this country had too many rights.

“It was so horrific,” Arthur said Wednesday. “I believe there was the intention to be inflammatory.”

She was waiting for a challenge of Thind’s question, and it didn’t come.

“Instead, what ended up happening is he gave air time to some pretty disturbing comments,” Arthur said.

She received several complaints from her staff and clients, who were listening to the Punjabi-language broadcast.

Thind told The Leader Wednesday that the comments have been completely misconstrued.

“They haven’t even heard the whole show, they just took some callers’ clips, or whatever somebody told them,” Thind said, adding it’s his understanding the CRTC complaint hasn’t been filed yet.

Thind said he and RED FM have raised thousands of dollars annually to combat domestic violence. Thind’s show, called “Save Our Daughters,” is designed to shed light on the amount of domestic violence in the community, he said.

“Somebody has to do this, it’s serious work,” Thind said, adding the continuing series has several professionals on the show discussing causes and cures, as well as community groups, RCMP and parliamentarians to explore how laws can better protect women.

“We’re working for the rights of the women to improve their lifestyles,” Thind said.

He added it’s a live, call-in show where listeners call in to express their opinions, and from there, debate takes place.

“If this organization were to talk to us, they would understand our position more clearly,” Thind said. “We were all surprised, we are trying to do the same work that they are doing, why would they complain?”

The draft letter to the CRTC will be reviewed by the SWC board in the coming days before the official complaint is flied.

@diakiw