Even as the government grapples with balancing broadcast freedom versus the need to protect you from vulgarity and abusive language on your television, it told Parliament on Tuesday that 14 channels were repeat offenders.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday that over the last three years, 14 channels had been pulled up more than once: Bindass, Channel V, Colors, IBN 7, India TV, MTV, Imagine, News 24, Sony, Star Anando, Star News, Star Plus, TV 5, and VH 1.
Of these Colors and MTV were issued the maximum warnings – four times each, the ministry has said. And, Colors was made to run an apology scroll on all four occasions for three days each time.
Offences which drew the ministry’s ire and complaints from viewers included serials, reality shows, advertisements and even the display of an individual’s personal mobile number on Bengali channel Star Anando.
Notices, warnings and directives for apology scrolls were issued to: Dadagiri (twice), Sun Yaar Chill Maar (indecent), Get Gorgeous 5 (obscene), Launch Pad (indecent), Bigg Boss Season 2 and 3, Koi Aane Ko Hain (encouraging superstition), an advertisement for New Axe Deodorant, MTV Roadies (obscene, indecent and vulgar), Splitsvilla 2 and 3, Bandini (indecent visuals), Pati, Patni aur Woh, Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao, Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, a surrogate liquor advertisement on Blender’s Pride Music CDs, Sapna Babul Ka – Bidaai, Saturday Night Live (indecent visuals).
In the case the telecast of the programme South Park by VH-1, the I and B Ministry directed the channel to take the programme off air while Star Plus was issued a warning for Sach ka Saamna (obscene, vulgar and indecent), and warned to ensure that programmes based on an international format took Indian ethos into consideration.
The news channels that came through as repeat offenders were primarily issued warnings for reports that contained violent visuals, titles that offended religious sentiments, propagated claims for miracle medical remedies with no scientific basis, inciting public sentiment, flouted standing orders on broadcast of Mumbai attack related footage, incited communal violence.
The Bigg Boss footage and the New Axe Deodorant advertisement both attracted penalties for news and non-news channels.
Meanwhile the Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday that to date, no formal complaint had been received about Bigg Boss Season 4.