The United Kingdom’s broadcast and communications regulator, Office of Communications or Ofcom, has imposed a £20,000 fine on Worldview Media Network Limited, Republic Bharat, in regard to failing to comply with the country’s broadcasting rules.
Republic Bharat’s Host and Editor in chief of Republic TV- Arnab Goswami and some other panelist violated the broadcasting codes in September 6 episode of the Poochata Hai Bharat.
The British Broadcasting Regulator has imposed a fine on Arnab Goswami’s Republic Bharat-the sister concern of Republic TV of 20,000 euros (about Rs 18 lakh) in the UK.
Republic Bharat Hindi news channel is licensed to broadcast in UK. The fine has been imposed for violation of rules regarding ‘Hate Speech’, using derogatory and offensive language.
While issuing the order against Worldview Media Network Ltd. on Tuesday, the Office of Communications said that Goswami’s prime time news program “Puchhta Hai Bharat” contained hate speech .
Republic Bharat is not only fined but has also been asked to broadcast an apology on its channel for abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities. It has served notice to the Worldview Media pvt Ltd. As it holds the license to air Republic Bharat in UK.
In a debate on September 6, the program was based on India’s mission to moon and involved comparison of India’s space exploration and technological advancements to Pakistan, and Pakistan’s alleged terrorist activities against Indian targets.
According to OfCom, the comments made by Arnab Goswami and other panelists amounted to “hate speech against Pakistani people, and derogatory and abusive treatment of Pakistani people”.
OfCom said that in his broadcast Goswami repeatedly referred to Pakistanis as “Terrorists” and even said that while India is Making Scientists, Pakistan is making terrorists. One of the panelist also referred to Pakistanis as “beggars” and threatened to conduct a military attack against them.
The regulatory body said that the words used in the program were “potentially offensive and not justified for the context.” It also took note of the word “paki” a term which has racist connotations used in the broadcast.
It also said that the program violates rules 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3. According to Rule 2.3 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, a broadcaster must ensure that any provocative matter must justify the context. Discriminatory and inaccurate language should not be used against any religion or belief. According to Rule 3.2, a part with a hate speech is not to be broadcast. According to Rule 3.3, broadcasters are asked to refrain from airing offensive and lewd comments against any person, group religion or community.
The order said that the comment against the Pakistani people was offensive and derogatory and was based on their nationality only.
Worldview media has been fined for the same broadcast. The company has decided that in future it will try to follow the rules and will not broadcast live some of the debates. The order also said that the media company admitted that the rules were not intentionally violated.