UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has imposed a 20,000 fine on Indian TV channel Republic TV for airing “hateful, gossipy and defamatory” material against Pakistanis.
According to Ofcom, on September 6, 2019, host Arnab Goswami and guests in the show ‘Poochhta Hai Bharat’ discussed the relations between Pakistan and India in which the mission ‘Chandrayaan 2’ sent by India to space Pakistan’s capabilities were mentioned in the competition.
Arnab Goswami and participants in the program called all Pakistanis ‘terrorists’.
“Scientists, doctors, leaders, politicians and athletes are all terrorists,” the program said. Every child there is a terrorist, we belong to a terrorist country.
One guest in the program said that Pakistani scientists are ‘thieves’ while another guest called Pakistanis ‘beggars’.
Arnab Goswami had addressed the Pakistanis in the program and said: “We make scientists, you make terrorists.”
In the program, Pakistanis were also called ‘Paki’ which is considered a racist word.
According to Ofcom, the words were hateful and were against Pakistanis on the basis of their citizenship, and broadcasting such material spread and perpetuated intolerance against Pakistanis.
In front of Ofcom, the channel management took the position that the discussion took place at a time when there was tension between Pakistan and India and a guest from Pakistan was also invited to balance the program.
The program was attended by Omar Inam and Raja Qaiser from Pakistan.
According to Ofcom, a Pakistani guest called India’s space program a “victory for humanity” and Pakistani guests sharply criticized India’s policy and leaders.
The discussion in the program was provocative in which Pakistanis were compared to monkeys and donkeys. Ofcom also said that Pakistani guests were given very little time to speak at the event and were repeatedly taunted.
Various penalties for the channel were also considered during the investigation by Ofcom.
During the investigation, the channel’s management had assured Ofcom that live broadcasts of Pakistan-India relations programs in the UK had been stopped and guests were also briefed before attending the program to avoid abusive speech.
The channel has also apologized to viewers in the UK over the show. The apology was broadcast 280 times on TV.
Indian TV channels Republic TV and Republic India are also broadcast in the UK and the research was conducted with reference to the content broadcast in the UK.