Facebook, Twitter, Bloggers, and now private TV


In the cold war era, it used to be said that the first target of wannabe-dictators was government-controlled radio stations—take control of it and you control the message going out.

In the post-liberalised era, the first target of the government seems to be private television stations.

Below is the full text of the “advisory” issued by the information and broadcasting ministry headed by Manish Tiwari to news and current affairs satellite TV channels on Sunday as coverage of the protests in Delhi brought the “people to the gate” (in the memorable words of The Times of India).

Interestingly, the chairman of the national broadcasting standards authority, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court, J.S. Verma, has been simultaneously named as the chairman of the three-member committee to review the laws for “speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault”.


All News and Current Affairs  satellite Television Channels

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
“A” Wing Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi-110001

23rd December, 2012


Whereas a number of private satellite news TV channels have been showing programmes covering round-the-clock direct telecast of the events relating to public demonstration being held in New Delhi in the wake of the unfortunate and tragic incident of gang rape of a young girl on 16th December, 2012 in a moving bus.

The  channels have been covering the agitation  and the efforts of the law enforcing authorities to maintain law & order, as well as the commentaries of the channel reporters to portray the incidents from their own perspectives.

Whereas this incident and the  public outcry in its aftermath are a very sensitive issue and any inappropriate media reportage thereon is likely to vitiate the law and order situation.

It has been observed that some private satellite news TV channels in their 24X7 coverage have not been showing due responsibility and maturity in telecasting the events relating the said demonstration and such a telecast is likely to cause deterioration in the law & order situation, hindering the efforts of the law enforcing authorities. (emphasis added)

Whereas Rule 6(1)(e)  of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, which contains the Programme Code to be strictly adhered to by all private satellite television channels, provides that no programme should be carried in the cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitude.

Now, therefore, all private satellite television channels are advised to scrupulously follow the Progarmme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 and to ensure to telecast the matter in a responsible manner with due care, maturity and restraint.

Any violation of the Programme Code will invite such action as provided for in the Cable Television(Regulation)  Act, 1995 and the Rules framed thereunder as well as the terms & conditions stipulated in Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines.

Supriya Sahu
Joint Secretary to the Government of India

Photograph: courtesy Press Trust of India

Crossposted on sans serif

Also read: The New York Times calls Kapil Sibal‘s bluff

What brainwave has struck our netas tonight?

CHURUMURI POLL: should Facebook be censored?

Say ‘No’ to India’s blogger control Act

Censorship in the name of ‘national interest’

Is UPA hitting back for Anna Hazare coverage?

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15 Responses to “Facebook, Twitter, Bloggers, and now private TV”

  1. Deepak Says:

    Wow!! Great. Serves you right. I hope Manish closes you all down. You guys licked her feet all these years and showed your subservience in the hope of rewards. This is the best reward you have got, enjoy it!!!

  2. babuds Says:

    The Congress party is now afraid. It was once afraid just before the promulgation of National Emergency. So watch out for the next episode, not necessarily on TV.

  3. 4thaugust1932 Says:

    ‘Diverse society (USSR/India) is bound to fail’ –Putnam.
    Caste system seeds hatred among people in India.
    It’s only going to get worse in the future.
    India needs Perestroika.
    But leeches are afraid of Independence.

    * Rape by FORWARD CASTE people to show off their hegemony (16 year SC girl was r…d by 12 FC men in Haryana)
    * Rape by BC/SC/ST/MC people to let off their hatred (23 year FC girl is r…d by 6 BC men in Delhi)
    Take your caste share of land as per 4th August 1932 Round Table Conference Resolution(Communal Award) and go build your own nation. Otherwise your future generations will regret.

  4. Suresh Panje Says:

    At the outset, Supriya Sahu has reiterated that the mindset in the babudom of Indian government’s bureaucracy would never change. Prior to jumping into the bandwagon of IAS, the aspirants claim to be the most brilliant personalities in the land, academic-wise.
    Presto!, once out of the institute at Shimla, they reflect their true colours of being worse than nincompoops, learning the art of bowing before the powers-that-be.
    As for the language, these bureaucrats are yet to shed their blinkers and be innovative with progressive notions. Just read the Advisory drafted by Supriya Sahu. It begins with ‘Whereas…….’ a typical language of Babugiri. Can’t they word or reword a sentence in simple manner so that a commoner too understands.
    Almost all the press releases and notifications read like tender notices. No wonder, our moron Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is right person to read in a lifeless tone, sans any comma or full stop, the speeches drafted by the bureaucrats, be the occasion at home or abroad and surely the listeners would be bored to death.
    Unfortunately, 98 per cent of the bureaucrats only know only their typical lingua-franca in the body text after typing the headlines: ‘With reference to your above, I offer my below…. I remain, yours forever…’ and no other means of communication.
    Suresh Panje, New Delhi

  5. shiv Says:

    “In the post-liberalised era, the first target of the government seems to be private television stations.” – Indian english language press is in the hands of leftists/convent educated brown sahibs since independence who have more interest to know about england/amerika than what goes on real India and this pot pourri has got the educated Indian middle class by their cajones.The educated middle class due to work pressure hardly get to read anything other than these english dailies or the 24/7 shouting channels and think that anything “Indian” is low grade and anything “phoren” is worthy of attention.Since the country’s “thinking caps” are in the hands of these confused Indians,this country has become rotten in all aspects of life.It is time especially the so called “educated” middle class Indians to shed their “coolie” mentality, start shedding their phoren thinking, shed caste feelings, start treating all Indians as one instead of which caste what language whether moneyed or not.Once these people start leading a genuine honest life, Eureka most of the ills of the land will start vanishing.The dubiousness of the english convent educated confused Indians has kept this farce going.

  6. harkol Says:

    Manish Tewari is one of those guys, whose appearance and utterances makes me feel as if there is a centepede crawling on my back!!

    What a marquee of folks Congress has on TV??!! Singhvi of bareback adventures in Supreme Court chambers, Tewari of famous quote ‘Anna is corrupt top to bottom’, Renuka the “I’ll get off my chair and crush you with my sheer weight” Chaudhry etc. All of them make you squirm and search for remote.

    But, their backroom boys P.C., Sibal etc. are more insidious. They are the ones who are capable of scheming to send NSUI chamchas to break up otherwise peaceful assembly.

  7. Mandya Gowda Says:

    No doubt ridiculous but I also see that these 24/7 news channels suffer from bulimia. In having to keep their advertisers happy by keeping the viewers glued, they outsmart even sandalwood pundits in screenplay.
    These news journos who lambast one and everyone except themselves for insults on women, run a separate thread on nip slips in their web sites. IS this not equally derogatory ? Should some ones moment of accidental shame be a news for them to be carried for ever on their websites ?
    I really fear picking up Times Of India. They have got everything to spoil my early mornings. I am yet to have the ability to dispassionately browse through pages studded with scantily clad gals and their bawdy affairs…… Dispassionate kama is not my capacity as yet.(and of course a majority of us lack this except Nityananda devotees !). So its good if u save me and my country from such heavy dosage of incites.

  8. ramanath maiya Says:

    Mandya Gowdre,

    You fear picking TOI, but to the glee of the early morning newspaper distributing boys, BT happens to be a real lift & ejecting joy. Probably their success for the day lies in TOI’s photo’s. What a motivation and this becomes a fear factor to a reader like you!!! The boys would thank the Ministry for advising the TV media and ignoring the print. Such is the power of these boys that you just try replacing the newspaper with another one and see the reaction. Though you pay and buy the copy the ownership is someone else.

  9. harkol Says:

    It is 70s all over again!

    Manish Tewari = VC Shukla

    Diggy Singh = DK Baruah

    Salman Kurshid = Jail Singh

  10. asha Says:

    The poor rape victim of Delhi gang rape was flown to singapore after she had a cardiac arrest the previous night and against the wise counsel of the doctors treating her. I am eagerly waiting the MSM to investigate and report on this. uPA govt at its criminal best once again….

  11. dr soneet Says:

    Since the government controls media, people prefer social media

  12. harkol Says:

    Asha: Here is a known fact – Most of the time agitations die with the victim.

    I am not floating a conspiracy theory, and I don’t think govt. wanted the victim dead – it’d take an insanely cruel person to scheme that.

    But, they may have wanted to cover their ass in case a future question arises as to why the victim wasn’t sent abroad for treatment when even a two bit minister goes abroad for treatment (leave alone Sonia Gandhi). They may have tried to be clever by half and wanted to shift her when it was evident she may not make it.

    I don’t think air lifting is what killed her, on contrary – she was airlifted because there was a slim chance of her survival.

  13. Kesi Says:

    @asha I partialy agree with you, and not about the confidence in the expertise of these doctors treating her. When the whole world is discussing the Delhi rape victim, Churumuri seems to be silent. Since the poor young woman is no more, is it not time to discuss the politics and the society in relation to women and their treatment?

  14. jayashree Says:

    Jaya Jaya Jaya, Jaya He!

  15. Brahmin NRI Says:

    Please bring back British rule in India. India doesn’t deserve democracy. People don’t have any morale these days. I feel so insecure to land in India. Everywhere rape, violence, theft, murder. What is wrong with India?
    We need strong leaders. I see Sonia, MM Singh and other bunch of leaders sympathizing about rape victim and their families, but what action they have taken in last 15 days?? Indian courts are broken also Indian Police is not trained. They are still using age old “lathi”!

    India needs a strong governance like Singapore or China. Law should rule the nation. If someone rapes, just hang him.

    Till Indian stupid laws are not changed, these rape cases will keep on continue. Re-write the constitution for 21st century and please make India a secure environment. And I think millions of NRIs may think of coming back at that time to India…

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