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TV smoking scenes to be classified as 'A'

entertainment Updated: Jul 29, 2007 18:15 IST

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Health Minister A Ramadoss can find some support from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in his efforts to curb smoking, as the draft content code of I&B Ministry proposes to classify TV broadcast of smoking under category 'A'.

The draft content code not only proposes to to classify TV broadcast of smoking, use of illegal drugs, tobacco and consumption of alcohol on television under the 'A' category but also plans to restrict TV channels from stereotyping women as passive or submissive so as to promote or glorify their subordinate or secondary role in the society.

It also proposes to allow screening of adult programmes only between 11 pm to 4 am. With this, the glorification of women's submissiveness and sacrifices for the their families would now become a thing of the past.

The guidelines prohibits portrayal of women as primarily driven by sexual impulses or the female body or form as an object of sexual exploitation.

The content code entails that smoking or alcohol consumption can be shown under the 'A' category "only if it does not glamourise use or misuse of such products and omit to highlight the ill-effects on personal health or criminal tendencies.

According to the code, depiction of use and details of production of such products shall not be a part of any programme classified as 'U' and 'U/A', while song and dance sequences highlighting such activities will not be allowed in programmes meant for family viewing.

It, however, said depiction of public health messages or programmes on de-addiction shall not be governed by above restrictions.

As per the code, which will be a part of the Broadcasting Bill to be introduced during the monsoon session of Parliament, Broadcaster Service Providers (BSP) have been given time till August 5 to give their comments.

However, the broadcasters are against any government's interference on the content matters as they are self-regulated an have asked for more time to respond on the Broadcasting Bill and the content code.