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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Cut out the protest

Kavita awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 22, 2013
First Published: 13:39 IST(22/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:57 IST(22/7/2013)

Ekta Kapoor’s TV serial Jodha Akbar (JA) has attracted the ire of Shree Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) for allegedly distorting historical facts. According to them, a princess of the Rajput dynasty (Jodha) never married Akbar, a Mughal Emperor, as shown in the show. JA does have a disclaimer that the serial isn’t based on historical facts. Yet, that hasn’t stopped it from being the latest target of ire from protestors who readily take umbrage.

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Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap was also targeted by SRKS. This time, they objected to the Rajput prince wearing Marathi headgear and Afghani pants. As opposed to JA, the makers of this one ran tickers claiming that they have tried to be as authentic as possible. Again, a day before its launch, the name of the show Gurbani was changed to Bani, due to pressure from various Sikh groups.

Bigg Boss too has time and again earned the Shiv Sena’s wrath for including Pakistani contestants (Veena Malik, most notably). Veteran singer Asha Bhosle was, meanwhile, asked by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to not be a part of the musical reality show, Sur-Kshetra, since it too featured Pakistani artistes. Now, while the procedure is to complain to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), most groups decide to take matter in their own hands.

And as soon as the protesting party starts making a lot of noise, the channels attempt to initiate communication to diffuse the situation as soon as possible. So, as opposed to the general suspicion, channels or shows do not always thrive in negative publicity.
A channel’s priority is always the viewer, and they, in fact, have a department that scrutinises each and every episode to edit out any potentially offensive content. So, while protests do mean that a show gets talked about, channels can do without the negative publicity, as can we as viewers.

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