The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the self-regulatory body of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) for non-news general entertainment channels, has approved the issuance of two advisories for the benefit of television channels at its 33rd meeting.
The BCCC has received complaints regarding portrayal and depiction of persons with disabilities in TV programmes and it points out that The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, lays down the law to safeguard the rights and facilities of persons with disabilities.
The Council has dwelt upon portrayals of persons with disabilities in TV programmes, which sometimes leads to a caricature. The Council feels that adequate protection is necessary to avoid content which may be distasteful, harmful and offensive to persons with disabilities.
It believes that humour should not be created through any undesirable depiction of persons with disabilities and no derisive and disparaging reference should be made to their disability.
It advises all IBF member channels to exercise caution and be sensitive in the portrayal of persons with disabilities, to be conscious of their dignity, and to adopt a mature and responsible tone. At the same time, the Council also advises the channels to look at the inclusion and mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in TV programmes.
Meanwhile, The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour (Amendment) Act, 2005, lay down guidelines for the usage, depiction and portrayal of the National Flag, National Emblem and National Anthem.
The Council advises all IBF member channels to refrain from airing any content that may amount to misuse or wrong depiction of the National Flag, National Emblem, National Anthem and the map of India. If any depiction/usage of them become necessary as part of a programme's storyline, the channel should take necessary precautions so as to abide by the law of the land.
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.