22nd December 2020   •   article
UK regulator fines India's Republic Bharat TV £20k for 'hate speech' against Pakistanis


by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: Republic TV screenshot
Ofcom today announced it had imposed a fine of £20,000 on the Indian news channel Republic Bharat for a segment it said amounted to "hate speech" against Pakistani people.

Ofcom is the UK's broadcasting industry regulator and has the authority to vet and fine stations that air in the UK.

The fine was imposed on Worldview Media Network Limited, which has the license for Republic Bharat, for failing to comply with UK broadcasting rules.

The fine related to an episode of 'Poochta Hai Bharat,' a daily current affairs discussion programme in Hindi, which aired on 6th September 2019.

Ofcom said it found the programme contained 'uncontextualised hate speech' in breach of its rules of the Broadcasting Code. The decision is here.

The show


According to Ofcom, the episode focused on India’s attempt to send the Chandrayaan 22 spacecraft to the Moon on 22 July 2019.

The debate between Mr Goswami and guest contributors focused on Indo-Pakistani relations, and veered into topics including the on-going dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, and Pakistan’s alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

According to an earlier Ofcom bulletin, one guest on the show said:

"Arnab, even their sports stars are terrorists [sentence was in English, including the word 'terrorist']. This whole nation is terrorist [the word 'terrorists' was in English]. I do not think anyone has been saved. Every child is a terrorist over there. Every child is a terrorist. You are dealing with a terrorist entity [the word 'terrorists' was in English]. Arnab, you are dealing with a terrorist entity [this last sentence was in English, including the word 'terrorists']."

Fallout


Ofcom says the licensee has apologised for any offence caused to viewers, adding it did not intentionally breach the Code and was taking the matter very seriously.

Furthermore it was:
• stopping the broadcast of live debates and discussions around Indo-Pakistan relations “with immediate effect”. It would apply this process to all current affairs debates on wider political issues.

• strengthening the briefings for guests appearing on the channel “to ensure they refrain from using derogatory language”.
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