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If You Can't Beat Them, Gag Them

A Tamil TV channel, Sathiyam TV, has been issued a warning by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for running a programme, where anti-PM remarks were perceived to have been made.

Published: 17th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2015 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI:As the Narendra Modi government prepares for its first anniversary in office, it appears not to be taking kindly to criticism.

A Tamil TV channel, Sathiyam TV, has been issued a warning by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for running a programme, where anti-PM remarks were perceived to have been made.

sathyam.jpgIn a notice issued this week, Sathiyam TV was castigated for two programmes—Ungal Aseervatha Neram, a religious show and Paarthathum Padithathum, a news analysis, where some comments made by a journalist were perceived to be showing PM in poor light. Both shows were telecast on December 9, last year.

In the first show, according to the ministry order, a Bible preacher was heard saying, “Oh lord, remove this person along with his sons (supporters) away from me.”

The ministry said these comments were made against a political personality and could give “rise to a communally sensitive situation and incite the public to violent tendencies.”

In the news show, a senior journalist said, “to succeed in politics, you need to have the ability to convert a false statement into true and above all, make the people believe the statement.”

However, the channel in its submission said the line in the religious programme in question was a general prayer and “there was absolutely no mention against the Hon’ble and respected Prime Minister.”

With regard to Paarthathum Padithathum, the channel explained that the programme was discussions of news stories in newspapers.

“The channel clarified that the reference to PM was a metaphorical acclamation of his communication skills as a politician. The channel failed to see how a metaphorical compliment could qualify (as violation),” the ministry order quoting channel’s version said.

The channel contended that it did not have any political leaning, but the inter-ministerial committee stood by the objections raised and warned it not to repeat such violations.

The government has been taking strict actions against some of the television channels acting on complaints.

Earlier last month, an international channel was asked to go off air for showing a wrong map of India, terming it as “cartographic  aggression”. So, ‘anti-government’ show must not go on.

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