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TV regulator tells channels to dilute content

The Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has asked television channels to dilute scenes portraying assault, abuse, and commodification of women and children in their programmes.

delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2012 01:56 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

The Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has asked television channels to dilute scenes portraying assault, abuse, and commodification of women and children in their programmes.


"We have marked a 'lakshman rekha' (line of tolerance) for TV channels that have been airing serials portraying atrocities against and mistreatment of women and children. They have been asked to dilute such objectionable scenes," said justice AP Shah, chairman, BCCC, who has already issued an advisory to the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) to this effect.

The BCCC is empowered to initiate suo motu proceedings against any programme on any TV channel. There have been about 400 complaints against TV channels for airing objectionable content. "Of these, about 20 relate to offensive portrayal of women and children," Shah said.

He added: "We have also asked these TV channels to be suggestive. Depiction of horrific scenes has adverse effects on the impressionable minds of children, particularly girls."http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/18-02-pg-10a.jpg

While many on-air popular TV serials have women's emancipation as a theme, they are seen portraying abuse and humiliation of women and children while trying to convey a message quite to the contrary. "We have told the channels that some scenes will not be allowed, some will have to be modified, while the slots for some shows will be changed from 'general' viewing hours to 'restricted' viewing hours," he said.

TV content is divided into two categories: 'G' and 'R'. While 'G' refers to general content that is suitable for unrestricted viewing, 'R' category content is to be aired from 11pm to 5am and refers to restricted programmes that are not meant for children and young viewers.

The regulatory body's chief has also said the BCCC has been holding regular meetings with members of the creative fraternity and has conveyed to them that it is not denying the fact that women are still suffering and that there is no effort to impinge on artistic freedom. "But such portrayals demeaning women encourage negative stereotypes," he said.

Set up on June 1 last year, the BCCC's mandate is to weed out objectionable, sensitive and vulgar TV content.