I&B Ministry issues notices to TV channels

There was a huge uproar and debate in the Indian Parliament last week over a newly launched reality TV show Sach ka Saamna.

According to our politicians, Sach Ka Saamna — an Indian version of internationally acclaimed show Moment of Truth — is a threat to the Indian culture and should be banned.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued a show cause notice to the channel that is airing the show. As the debate about whether Sach ka Saamna is good or bad continues, will the notice to the channel serve any purpose?

Recently, the I&B Ministry was asked in the parliament to provide details of the action taken by the government against channels airing violent and sexually explicit programmes. The facts that emerged out of the answer given my the I&B Minister of State C M Jatuya are interesting.

The I&B Ministry, from 2006 till July 14, 2009, issued 42 notices to various television channels (news and general entertainment) for airing violent and sexually explicit content. The maximum penalty awarded to a channel for airing content that violates the broadcasting laws is a ban of two months.

AXN channel was banned in India from 17.1.2007 to 28.2.2007 for telecasting a programme called World’s Sexiest Advertisements. Similarly, FTV was banned for two months after the order of 29.3.2007 for showing a programme called Midnight Hot.

Apart from this, the most erring channels were asked to do was to run a TV scroll apologising for airing the programme in question. Some of the instances are noted below.

1. IBN7 was served a show cause notice on 28.3.2007 for airing a programme called Kiss Par Rok Nahi. The channel was directed on 14.11.2007 to run a scroll apologising for the same for three days. The matter was then closed.

2. Zee News was also served a notice on 28.3.2007 for airing a programme called Jumma Chumma De De. The channel was directed on 14.11.2007 to run a scroll apologising for the same for three days. The matter was then closed.

Various channels have been repeatedly warned over airing sexually explicit programmes. Some of them are:

MTV: 4

  • For airing a song from the film Zeher
  • Showing a song from an adult film Aashiq Banaya Apne
  • Airing the New Axe Deo advertisement
  • Broadcasting sexually explicit reality TV show named Spiltsvilla

IBN7: 4

  • For airing a programme named Kiss Par Rok Nahi
  • Showing a programme named Kissa Kiss Ka
  • For telecasting a news item about crowd violence in Guwahati and beating of tribal women by men

India TV: 3

  • For using objectionable language on a programme called India Bol
  • Aairing a programme on Jhanvi Kapoor
  • For airing a programme named Ye Bachoo Ka Khel Nahi, which defamed the children

Other channels that received notices include AajTak, Channel V, Color, Discovery, ETV Bangla, Headlines Today, Hungama, India News, Star News, NDTV India, News 24, NE TV, Sahara Samay, Star Plus, Sony Max, Sun TV, UTV Bindaas, VH1, Yo Music,  and Zee Telugu.

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