`Complaints on obscenity, nudity maximum against TV channels`

Complaints related to obscene scenes and nudity comprised almost half of the complaints received by Broadcasting Content Complaints Council during its first year of functioning.

Updated: Aug 12, 2012, 14:13 PM IST

New Delhi: Complaints related to obscene scenes and nudity comprised almost half of the complaints received by Broadcasting Content Complaints Council during its first year of functioning.

In a latest report sent to the I&B Ministry, the non-news television industry`s self-regulatory body -- formed in July last year -- said that till July 2 out of the 717 specific complaints received, 47 per cent were on obscenity and nudity while 16 per cent were regarding depiction of violence.

Seven per cent of the specific complaints related to TV content that hurt religious and cultural sentiments, the report said.

Referring to the complaints related to sex, obscenity and nudity, the BCCC report said that a large number of such complaints were found to be violating Indian Broadcasting Federation`s self-regulatory guidelines.

"The BCCC directed some channels that since these programmes were not suitable for telecast during general viewing hours, they should suitably modify the content and air such programmes during restricted viewing hours," it said.

"In some cases, channels completely took programmes off air," it added. The BCCC report said that it had also received complaints about reality shows that involved youth.

"The main concern was use of vulgar language by participants and the alleged obscene acts performed by them during the shows. The BCCC issued appropriate directions on a case-to-case basis," the report said.

The report said that nearly 16 per cent of specific complaints pertained to the theme of crime and violence and many of these were against shows based on actual crime cases.

"The complainants argued that excessive violence shown in such programmes could have negative impact on youth and children," it said, adding that the broadcasters argued that scenes of violence were used to re-create a case.

"The BCCC opined that while the theme per se may not be
objectionable, graphic depiction of gruesome violence/crime should be avoided," the report said.

"The Council directed channels to appropriately modify the content of the episodes objected to and not telecast such scenes during general viewing hours," it added.

In some cases, channels were asked not to repeat a particular episode at all. The BCCC asked channels to be extra-cautious while showing violence against women, the report said.

Over 26 per cent complaints pertained to the category `Harm and Offence`. It included programmes that had content showing cruelty towards animals, participation of children in reality shows and social evils like child marriage, the BCCC report said.

In its report, the BCCC said that about one per cent of specific complaints related to `Horror and Occult` programmes for spreading blind belief and superstition and an equal number about programmes where consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs was shown.

"Under the theme `General Restrictions`, the Council received around 2 per cent complaints including those about the depiction of wrong map of India or wrong portrayal of court proceedings," the BCCC report said.

The BCCC report said these are the seven themes as per which it had classified all complaints were those whose violation can form the basis of filing complaints.
The report said that apart from these specific complaints BCCC had in all received 6,397 complaints and suggestions, which have been disposed of.

Of these many were not related to BCCC`s area of
regulation like the 433 complaints against advertisements, complaints not relating to Content or Suggestions (3,699) or the 357 complaints against news content.
The I&B Ministry had also made nearly 200 complaints to the BCCC in the first year itself, the report said.

The BCCC, in the report, claimed that its biggest achievement has been the acceptance of its self-regulatory mandate and complaint redressal mechanism by members channels.

"At present, IBF`s 53 members account for more than 235 such channels ? national as well as regional. There hasn`t been a single case of a channel refusing to comply with the directives issued by the BCCC," the report said.