Just as the new Government is settling in, the broadcasting industry is seeing more than its regular share of attention in Parliamentary sessions.
Last week, Member of the Parliament Sharad Yadav had voiced his reservations against Colors’ show ‘Balika Vadhu’, stating that the show promoted child marriage. On July 22, 2009, there was chaos in the Upper House of the Parliament again, where some members felt that Star Plus’ new show, ‘Sach ka Saamna’, went against the morality of the Indian society and “offended good taste and decency”. Samajwadi Party’s Kamal Akhtar had raised this issue.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has sent a show-cause notice to STAR India, asking the channel to clarify its position on the objections raised by the Members of the Parliament. The channel has time till July 27, 2009 to reply to the notice.
Some sections of the broadcasting industry also informed that the two episodes had led the MIB to call for a meeting with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and the News Broadcasters Authority (NBA) on July 23, 2009, to discuss regulation of content on television.
A senior industry source informed, “The meeting had to eventually happen anyway as the MIB had stated its intention earlier to discuss content regulations issue and the Broadcasting Bill soon after the newly appointed Minister and other officials had assumed office. These incidents have just sped up that process.”
Meanwhile, STAR India officials had not received the show-cause notice till late evening on July 22, 2009, and did not offer any comments on the development. Sources familiar with the situation informed that a sense of blame-game on a rival broadcaster could already be felt in both the channels.