The content aired in reality TV shows such as ‘Bigg Boss’ came in for criticism in Rajya Sabha today, with some members expressing anguish over “vulgarity” and “indecency” in the programmes.
While the government did not categorically specify if it has received any complaint from viewers against such shows, MoS in I&B Ministry Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said a phone number is displayed during the programme for viewers to register complaints.
Replying to a question, he said if there was violation of the programme code, action was initiated against the offenders, but that does not entirely depend on viewers complaint and the Ministry has its own cell to monitor the complaints.
During the last one year, he said 40,000 complaints have been received, of which action has been taken in 1,500 cases.
Members including Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) and Karan Singh (Cong) said the content aired in reality shows such as girls dancing in skimpy outfits and participants made to eat insects are against the cultural ethos of the country.
The minister said broadcasters have committed themselves to self-regulation and the government does not want to infringe upon the freedom of expression and can act based on complaints received.
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation has set up Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), which receives complaints and acts on them.
Rathore said to effectively monitor the programmes, the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre is being further strengthened to monitor 1,500 private TV channels simultaneously.
I&B Ministry also issues advisories from time to time on various issues, which are also relevant to the reality shows, he added.