Star One gets rap over snide remarks targeting SCs/STs

October 23rd, 2008 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The information and broadcasting ministry Thursday threatened to take Star One off the air even as it issued an advisory over derogatory remarks against “untouchables” in a comedy programme broadcast on the channel over two years ago. “The ministry has issued this advisory in response to a complaint that has alleged the participants of the programme, Ali Hassan and Irfan, of making a derogatory remark against a particular community,” a press release said.

“It has asked the channel to ensure strict compliance to this direction and said any further violation may entail stringent action including taking the channel off the air,” the statement said.

Alluding to an episode of the programme “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge-2″ telecast on June 23, 2006, the ministry advised Star One Channel not to repeat this offence in future and “show better self-regulation in creation of programme content”.

The advisory has been issued on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) constituted by the information and broadcasting ministry to look into the specific complaints against the violation of Programme and Advertising Codes.

The complaint was examined by the IMC as to whether any violation of provisions of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 had taken place in the telecast of the said episode.

After viewing the recordings of the programme, the IMC agreed unanimously that the offensive word should not have been used by the participants whose “intentional utterances” amounted to propagating the long-banned practice of untouchability.

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