Jaldi 5 with BCCC chief AP Shah: Unedited foreign programmes lead to more complaints

24 Jan,2013

By Ananya Saha


The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council received 8,628 complaints and suggestions as of November 30, 2012. Should it be a cause for concern? Should the industry focus more on self-regulation? MxM India spoke to BCCC Chairperson Justice (Retd) AP Shah about the issue.


1. What kind of role does BCCC play in the regulation of the broadcast medium?

We have to strike a balance between preserving free speech and expression on the one hand, and on the other see that the guidelines and advisories are followed.


2. What are the major complaints or suggestions that BCCC gets?

Broadly 47 percent of complaints are on sex, vulgarity and nudity. Some 30-40 percent pertain to harm and violence. Others are related to religion or are general complaints. I think the complaints have increased due to increase in import of foreign programmes, which are telecast unedited.


3. What is the advisory you issue on ‘unedited’ programmes?

Some are asked to go off-air, or some episode is asked to be pulled. Or be put in night slot, which is the restricted slot of 11 pm to 5 am. Or we ask them to modify the content. The good thing is that when it comes to self-regulation, we have had 100 percent compliance from the channels.


4. What about content on regional entertainment channels?

Yes, there are concerns in regards to regional channels. We receive a large number of complaints from South but since we do not know the language it becomes a problem. We get complaints in language programmes such as Kannada, Telugu, Tamil; not so much in Malayalam though. We need to have a BCCC person in South India who understands the languages.


5. Does MIB interfere with BCCC’s advisories?

No. There are times when the ministry refers a complaint to us. But the ministry has not interfered with our work. We have fairly succeeded in implementing the guidelines.


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