1 Minute View: 10-day ban on Comedy Central is not funny

27 May,2013

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s decision to ban Comedy Central for 10 days would have come as a shocker. A shocker to not just the popular comedy channel, but also to the various English entertainment channels on air in India.


While the ministry may have done no wrong as it’s simply following the rules laid out, we think there is need for a rethink for the government. The audiences who typically watch English GECs can also watch uncensored, unbleeped content via the internet. So, if the government is serious concerned by a billion-plus Indians not getting degraded, then it must do something about the internet too. Which it knows it can’t.


We think it’s important for the IBF and the English GECs in particular to ask the government to relook at some of the clauses that constitute the relevant laws. For, if that doesn’t happen, then they may as well show sanitized stuff like Yes Minister. Or Charlie Chaplin movies.


Many of the complaints received by the broadcasting self-regulator Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) are against the English GECs.


The move is also an alert for all other channels which air content that’s risque, especially reality shows and movies that pass off the “objectionable” stuff in the garb of wholesome entertainment.


For Comedy Central, the ten days will pass off in a breeze. But the real battle will be thereafter. How does it show contemporary funny stuff without upsetting the moral brigade and the government.


We are sure it’ll find the answers. As also must all the others in the business. For in India, only the ‘clean’ can survive.


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