TV Regulatory Body Wants To Ban Superstitious Content On Entertainment Channels
Intellectuals have said that doubt gives way to fear; and fear gives way to superstition.
Fearing that TV, which is a massive mass-medium in India, can corrupt Indians with superstitious content, a TV regulatory body has strongly advised that such content should be banned from prime time entertainment channels.
In a strongly worded advisory from Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), it was said that programs which portray women as witches, show practice of black magic and exorcism should be stopped from airing on those channels, which are viewed by one and all.
BCCC is an independent self-regulatory body set up by Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), whose main task is to examine content being broadcasted on non-news channels. Four basic foundations of BCCC are: Transparency, Neutrality, Autonomy and Independence. Some of the renowned names like Shabana Azmi, Vir Sanghvi etc are part of BCCC’s core team.
Based on several complaints regarding such programs on ZEE, Colours, Sun TV, and MAA TV, BCCC was forced to issue advisory for all entertainment channels to prohibit content which shows “occult, superstitions, black magic, exorcism, witchcraft, especially in the portrayal of women in a negative manner on air.”
BCCC said, “The BCCC believes that any such unreasonable and unjustifiable representation could have serious repercussions,”
The concerned TV channels have acknowledged the receipt of this advisory, and have said that they are in the process to examine the content.
As per the advisory: “Should any such depiction become absolutely necessary in line with the story, the channel must run a scroll during its telecast, disapproving of any such practice and describing it as a work of fiction.”
BCCC has reminded the TV channels about Article 51 A (h) of the Constitution which urges citizens to develop a scientific temper, humanism, spirit of inquiry and reform.
As per insider sources, such shows can be allowed to be broadcasted only after 11 PM.
Karnataka Proposes Ban on Astrology Shows
Meanwhile in Karnataka, astrologists may soon shut down their shows on TV. Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah wants to ban all astrology shows in the state.
He said, “Every television channel wants to air astrology-based shows in Karnataka. There seem to be many viewers for them. In my home too, the scenario is no different. It’s time we banned such shows.”
Astrology is a big money spinner for TV channels in the state. Almost every news and entertainment channel runs atleast an hour of such astro based shows, daily. Infact, such is the popularity of astrology shows that in 2013, Narendra Babu Sharma’s ‘Bruhat Brahmanda’ show on Colors channel was 2nd only to Bigg Boss Season.
There are several ‘celebrity’ astrologists, who are watched by their huge fan following.
Reactions have been swift on this proposed ban, as the TV fraternity is divided on this issue.
A leading news anchor recently said, “Many politicians strongly believe in astrology. They don’t miss an opportunity to seek advice during elections and crises. How can they have different rules for different people?”
Previous Governments also tried to put a ban on such shows, but were never successful. A Karnataka Prevention of Anti-Superstition Bill 2015 is already stuck in the Karnataka Assembly, as the opposition has termed it ‘anti-Hindu’.
Interestingly, BCCC did not issue any advisory against astrology based shows on TV news and entertainment channel. Will such diktat stir the hornet’s nest?
Do you think that astrology shows should be banned? Do share your opinions by commenting right here!
[Disclaimer: Author works as a Social Media Manager for APN News Channel in Noida, which focuses on political-legal issues. All views expressed are his own and personal.]