Leading kids shows such as Shin Chan and Doraemon have come under the scanner for airing objectionable content. This, after parents have complained to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) about these, and other shows. The BCCC has received thousands of complaints pointing towards, objectionable, content, visuals, animation and use of inappropriate language in some of the shows aired on children’s channels.
Subsequently, it has issued an advisory on telecast of content on all these channels.
“A parent wrote about this certain episode of Shin Chan where he lifts the skirt of a girl in his class. Another parent complained that kids get encouraged to be naughty seeing Doraemon. There are also complaints about horror and ghost shows on regional cartoon channels,” says Ashish Sinha, secretary general of BCCC.
Agrees model and mother of a two-year-old, Ramneek Pantal. “Some cartoon shows are just too violent, like the Power Rangers series,” says Pantal. Mother of two, designer Reshma Grover feels that kids often tend to take up some of these not-so-good cartoon characters such as Ben 10 and Doraemon as their role models. “They think it’s okay to do all those unruly things these characters do,” says Grover.
BCCC, in fact, has also received complaints against telecast of ads and promos of shows unsuitable for kids. “I am more worried about these product ads between the shows. My kids keep demanding those all the time,” says Jyotsana Bajaj, a teacher.
On the other hand, channels maintain that their content has always been safe for kids. “We adhere to strict guidelines pertaining to the content aired on all our channels, including ads and promos,” says Krishna Desai, network head of Turner International India that has under its portfolio channels such as Pogo and Cartoon Network.
While Disney channel refused to comment, Nina Elavia Jaipuria of Viacom 18, which owns Nickelodeon, says, “All our shows are designed in such a way that parents can leave their kids to watch them safely. If there’s any objectionable language or content in the translated versions of foreign cartoon shows, we always edit them out. We don’t even have cola or junk food ads running between shows.”