THE PRIME TIME CENSOR IMBROGLIO!
The Central Board of Film Certiﬁcation (CBFC) chief, Pahlaj Nihalani, has stirred up a hornet’s nest by calling for censorship on television. He recently said that many TV shows, especially crime-based ones like ‘Crime Patrol’ and ‘Savdhaan India’, and CID on SONY are “crossing limits” by showing the most gruesome and heinous crimes in graphic detail. He added, “Why are ﬁlmmakers required to get a new censor certiﬁcation for their ﬁlms to be shown on television when the rest of the content made especially for television gets to go on air unchecked? This free ﬂow of content in television must stop. It’s affecting the natural psychological development of young minds.
Parents are worried.” There is a different side to every coin and one must agree that these shows are the ﬂagpole shows on LIFE OK and SONY and they continuously re-run these shows because a hungry audience laps it up and the TRPS of the channel goes up and zooms which is what every channel and broadcaster wants. And also with these shows people are advised to be cautioned in their daily lives so that they can lead a carefree and without crime affected lives as their anchors always tell us the punishment meted out to criminals and those who indulge in such nefarious activities. Of course sometimes it goes overboard but it is better than the saas bahu shows which are utterly regressive and those fantasy shows which are absolutely popular but dismal in their content. But how will you censor those shows on the internet and YOUTUBE and on the other social medias which are easily accessible for children and youth of all ages and they can watch it even on their mobiles and there is no censorship for net shows, web series, short ﬁlms, etc and Television already has a body which looks after the content that is beamed on television and the ticker of the BCCC(Broadcast Content Complaint Council) and if anyone ﬁnds any show on television to be harmful to children or any other television watcher segment , they can complain to BCCC which can take the right action against them and every broadcaster has a set of rules and regulations which they have to follow and so they are basically dependent on self regulation. And the biggest censor is the viewer himself who has the all important remote in his hand and if doesn’t like any programme to watch or his children or family to watch, he can immediately switch channels and so self regularizing the television viewing is the most important part of television censorship. There are about 250 General Entertainment channels today including foreign channels whose content might not identify with pan India hinterland of India in bigger metros and towns these shows on foreign channels are very popular. So can we censor such shows too? For the time being VOX POPULI !