“Over 500 TV channels have permission to beam into Indian homes. When there is such an invasion into our rooms, there is a need for a content debate as we, being the representatives of people, are answerable to Parliament and others on the sensitivities of people,” said Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni. The Minister was addressing a gathering at the FICCI organised Media & Entertainment Business Conclave 2009 in Chennai.
Calling for a debate on “What is good, what is too much and what could carry on”, she said there was no need for censorship and regulation but there should be self-regulation. “Let us move along with the people, but there shall not be confrontation at a time when TV content has come under public scrutiny especially as we see today in various reality shows,” Soni said.
The I&B Minister said the Centre had decided to come down on film and video piracy with a firm hand through a model law so that “the toil and sweat of creative people is not taken advantage of by unscrupulous elements”. Soni added that the Centre would request the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Dr. K. Karunanidhi, to draft a model law to combat piracy, which would be presented to the State Governments at a conference of State Information Ministers being convened in New Delhi on December 5, 2009.
Soni also said that the radio industry has made great progress and the government was on the threshold of auctioning the third phase of FM radio licenses and a note on this would be circulated in the Cabinet.
“We want to encourage the community radio station. We have just introduced the HITS technology. Animation industry was growing leaps and bounds. Our country can become the source centre for the whole world for the animation industry,” the Minister said.
The FICCI Media & Entertainment Business Conclave Opened in Chennai on November 18 with the lighting of the traditional ‘Kuthuvilakku’ by Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, actor Kamal Hassan, actor Sarathkumar, Yash Chopra in the presence of Chief Minister Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister and the Union I&B Minister released the FICCI-EY Report entitled ‘Indian Entertainment Down South—From Script to Screen’. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Dr. K Karunanidhi, in his inaugural address, unveiled his “dream and vision to make Tamil Nadu the entertainment epicentre for the global industry.” Karunanidhi said the South was now brimming with activity in the entertainment sector --- Sony Pictures announced the opening of its state-of-the-art facility in Chennai last year and Warner Brothers Motion Picture Imaging and the Chennai-based Prasad Corporation recently announced a strategic alliance to name a few.
The day was filled with various conversations on how the film industry in the south can be grown further, and how the media and entertainment sector per se could be moulded stronger.