Govt plays censor: No 'adult' shows on TV before 11 pm

Pamela Anderson

Faced with numerous complaints from viewers and women's outfits about indecent content, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked channels airing TV shows 'Bigg Boss' and 'Rakhi ka Insaaf' to air them only between 11 pm and 5 am, virtually bracketing them as only for adult viewing.

Both shows are not for universal viewing and can be aired only in the scheduled time slot, Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials said.

The shows cannot also be repeated in any other time slot or shown on news programmes, they said.

While 'Bigg Boss' is being aired on Colors, 'Rakhi ka Insaaf' is aired on NDTV Imagine. Both are prime time shows.

Officials claimed this is the first time that the ministry has compulsorily changed time slots of popular TV shows.

The ministry also banned Telugu SS music channel for seven days for allegedly showing nudity.

The decisions were taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on Monday represented by additional secretaries from the Ministry of Home, Women and Child Development, External Affairs and Information and Broadcasting.

Numerous complaints have been made by viewers as well as the National Commission for Women and social activists who accused the channels of showing explicit content.

The decision would be effective with immediate effect that is from today, the officials said.

"We have not asked the producers of the show to modify content or have not done any sort of censoring, just shifted the time slots allotted to them," senior ministry officials said.

The meeting had been called after round-the-clock monitoring of the channels.

'Rakhi ka Insaaf', compared by actor-dancer Rakhi Sawant, hit the spotlight after Laksham Prasad, a resident of Jhansi, committed suicide, which his family alleged, was following the humiliation meted out to him on the show.

His family said the youth was upset after Rakhi described him as "impotent" and had gone into depression and refused to eat anything for several days.

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