While watching your favourite TV show, have you ever paid attention to the ticker that runs at the bottom telling you that if you find anything objectionable in the programme, you can complain to the Broadcasting Content Complaint Council (BCCC)?
In the last 12 months, the BCCC has received 9,905 complaints from couch potatoes across the country. In the wake of the channel Comedy Central being banned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for obscene dialogues and vulgar words derogatory to women (The Delhi High Court temporarily lifted the broadcast ban and the channel is back on air), we wonder if Indians are merely over-sensitive or just over-react to such incidents?
The complaints vary from silly — like the one about the title of the show Rab Se Sona Ishq which means ‘love is superior to God’, saying it hurt religious sentiments of true devotees — to the serious — like the one about Comedy Circus where performers use double-meaning dialogues and vulgar body language during prime time airing. The channel had to ensure that the acts, jokes and comments weren’t demeaning or conveyed double meaning. Another show, Roadies, had to mute offensive language after complaints about it provoking the youth to adopt unwanted aggression surfaced.
In the children’s show, Doraemon, the child character Nobita was shown attempting suicide which was found objectionable, while Uttaran’s episode had a woman mix glass pieces in an alta (colour) tray, in order to hurt her daughter-in-law. It drew objections, as it gives the wrong idea to viewers, including children.
Though the number of complaints seems high, merely 1,232 were genuine, with valid points, and a third of them were disposed off as the BCCC didn’t find them objectionable. Every channel has to follow certain guidelines and advisories. The portrayal of women is a major concern as many serials use plot lines that focus excessively on the mistreatment of the fairer gender, portrayed in terms of assault and abuse. These are then justified by saying that they are taking a stand against the mistreatment of women.
The general consensus is that Indians have low tolerance on many issues. But instead of making valid points, the effort is often wasted on silly ones.