Russian channel pulled up by Indian government for indecent content
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
In its advisory, the Ministry said a show cause notice was issued to the channel
Representational image. (Photo: Twitter)
New Delhi: Moscow-based channel Russia Today has been pulled up by the Information and Broadcasting ministry for airing a video clip containing several indecent shots last year.
The channel, which apologised for the mistake and assured that it will be more careful and vigilant about the content exhibited in India, was issued an advisory to adhere to Programme and Advertising Codes, according to the Ministry.
In its advisory, the Ministry said a show cause notice was issued to the channel after it was noticed that in December last year it ran visuals which appeared offending against good taste and decency.
Responding to the notice, M/s Lamhas Satellite Services Limited,as the distribution partner of Russia Today, submitted that they did not intentionally or unintentionally try to vilify the portrayal of women in general and that the show was an extract of another program purely based on abstract, experimental artistic pursuit as depicted in the clip.
It added that the channel did not aim at objectification of women in a detrimental way while also apologising on behalf of the channel. The company also said that they had instructed Russia Today Channel to strictly abide by the Cable TV Regulation Act and it had assured to be more careful and vigilant about the content exhibited in India.
A representative of the channel also appeared before an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC), which looked into the matter and admitted that it was a mistake on their part to telecast the programme.
The representative added that the programme was telecast during late hours under the impression that it would be watched by adult persons only and thus, would not be treated as a violation. However, she regretted the entire incident, the ministry order said.
Examining all aspects, the IMC felt that Russia Today TV appeared to be ignorant of some rules as they were referring to 'Watershed hour' concept, which may be there in some countries but it not a part of the Programme Code. It, however, noted that the channel had apologised and expressed willingness to abide by rules in future. Emphasising that a foreign TV channel needs to be aware of rules of the country in which they broadcast, the Committee also noted that this was the first show cause notice for Russia Today, indicating that they normally have followed the Programme Code.
The IMC recommended issuing of an "Advisory" to Russia Today TV channel. Following the recommendation, the I&B ministry in the advisory issued this month asked Russia TV channel to adhere to the Programme and Advertising Codes and be careful with regard to content to be telecast on the channel.