EC directs DD not to show films of contesting candidates
Thirty-seven million television homes across the country will most probably be viewing black and white films over the next 10 days. And that too when there are four weekend holidays. The Election Commission on Friday ruled that Doordarshan (DD) should not air films of artistes who are in the fray, or campaigning for any party or have joined politics. The order came after the public broadcaster had sought a clarification on the issue last week.
Since a majority of present filmstars fit in one or the other category, it would be next to impossible to identify current films which do not have any artistes from these three categories.
The safest bet would be films from the black and white era as most of the people starring in them are no longer alive. But movies of filmstars of yesteryears -- Dileep Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan -- are also ruled out since they have joined politics or campaigning for some party.
What does that leave on offer to viewers? Well, there are films of Ashok Kumar, Nadia, Kishore Kumar, Madhu Bala, Guru Datt, Nutan and of course, Balraj Sawhney. There’s Dev Anand. He's alive but he's made it clear that he will not join politics.
According to indiantelevision.com, there are 70 million homes in India which have TV. Out of which only 32.77 million are on the cable network. The other 37-odd million are almost dependent on Doordarshan.
While DD officials could not be contacted, it remains to be seen how the national broadcaster would be able to implement the order.