Emotional Atyachaar receives serious warning from BCCC

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | July 15, 2013
The channel, Bindass, will have to run an apology ticker every two hours from 12 noon on July, 15 to 10 am on July, 18, as per the BCCC order.

Emotional Atyachaar, a youth reality show telecast on UTV Bindass, has recently received a rough warning from the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC). The council had received two complaints about the content of the show for the episodes telecast on June, 25, 2011 and July, 2, 2011 respectively. Both the episodes were said to contain content that was either vulgar or had clear sexual overtones.

Emotional Atyachaar

While the council was analyzing the situation and conducting its third internal meeting about the issue, a public interest litigation (PIL) was known to be filed in the Delhi High Court and the judgment was awaited. In April, 2013, the court directed BCCC to take action against the complaints.

After reviewing both the compaints, the council passed an order which clearly stated that the content of the said episodes violated IBF's self-regulated content guidelines and the constitutional rights.

The decisions taken by the council was in three parts:
1. There is a serious warning issued to the channel, ignoring which can cause the channel to attract punishment from the ministry.
2. Bindass will have to run an apology scroll every two hours from 12 noon on July, 15 to 10 am on July, 18. The apology will read "In compliance with BCCC's order passed on 9th July, 2013, UTV Bindass channel apologises for the telecast of certain episodes of the programme 'Emotional Atyachaar Season-3' in June-July 2011. These episodes were found to be in violation of the Self-Regulatory Guidelines of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF)."
3. These two episodes can never be telecast again on the channel.

Interestingly, at the time the complaints were filed, the channel had cross-questioned the complainants about which part of the episode they found to be in violation of the guidelines.

It may be noted that the said programme, Emotional Atyachaar, is based on a loyalty test where one partner who suspects the fidelity of the other partner can conduct a loyalty test. Here, the channel plants a model who lures the person under test and all this is captured in cameras installed all over the place.

Apart from the language and content, the council also mentioned that this amounts to invasion of privacy and dignity of a person. Plus, the content which was shown on the 7 pm slot was highly inappropriate for children.

Interestingly, a BCCC official informs that the channel had then promised that the content would not be raunchy and would have a stronger censorship.

However, a source close to this development suggests that the channel is scripting half of the shows and that's how the language and content are kept in check.

This is the second reality show to have attracted BCCC's serious attention. Earlier, Season 5 of Bigg Boss (telecast on Colors) was moved in and out of the prime time a number of times. The show is based on the lives and survival of more than 10 inmates who are confined to a house for 90 days.
Sunny Leone, a guest in the Bigg Boss house in Season 5, is a porn star and the council had upheld the complaint when the said guest was seen promoting her own website on the show.

A BCCC official informs that this is the first time that the council has taken the serious step of issuing a warning against a channel. He also suggests, "In case the channel doesn't abide by the orders, the complaint can be extended to the ministry and in case of getting five offences in a period of 10 years, the ministry has the right to invoke the license of the channel whenever it comes for renewal, the next time."

BCCC is a self-regulatory body set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), which is an industry body for the broadcast industry and comprises 13 members. The chairperson is generally a retired judge of a high court or the Supreme Court. The other 12 members have equal representation from broadcast and non-broadcast backgrounds. Four of these 12 members are selected from national level statutory commissions.

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