British Regulator Fines Indian news Channel, Republic TV, for Hate Speech Against Pakistan. The UK media regulator, Ofcom, accused Republic TV’s prime time show “Poochta Hai Bharat” of hate speech against Pakistan. The show is now banned in the country.
Ofcom has imposed a $27,103 fine for breaching its broadcasting code. Ofcom said that the show has violated sections 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Broadcasters’ Code by airing material that included “hate speech, abusive and derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities and offensive content”.
British Regulator Fines Indian news Channel for Hate Speech Against Pakistan
The decision included transcripts from the programme, which was aired on Sept 6, 2019. The show discussed, among other things, India’s space programme, the Kashmir issue and “Pakistan’s alleged involvement in terrorist activities against Indian targets”.
Ofcom had said in the decision,
“Due to the serious nature of these breaches, we are considering imposing a statutory sanction,”
Worldview Media Network Ltd, the licensee of Republic TV, has been banned from airing the show in the UK again.
“In the program, the presenter (Arnab Goswami) and some of his guests conveyed the view that all Pakistani people are terrorists. Their scientists, doctors, their leaders, politicians all are terrorists, even their sportspeople, every child is a terrorist over there. You are dealing with a terrorist entity.”
At the time, Worldview Media had said that some figures of speech in the show were not supposed to be taken literally and Asian viewers would have understood that.
This is the third time that Ofcom has found Republic breaching its broadcasting code, but it is the first time that the regulator has issued a fine.
Republic TV has been accused of biased reporting in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu nationalism. Arnab Goswami, channel’s anchor and editor-in-chief, has always been criticized for hosting aggressive debates that air inflammatory and Islamophobic comments.
Earlier this month, the chief executive of Republic Media Network was arrested in the Indian city of Mumbai for allegedly manipulating viewership for its channels. Now, his channel has been fined due to the aggressive and hated comments.