Taking note of how children are made to dance in some reality TV shows, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has reminded TV channels to desist from showing minor participants portrayed in a vulgar or inappropriate manner.
In a notification issued on Tuesday, the I&B Ministry has asked all private channels to not show any programme that shows children, especially 10 years old or younger, in indecent, suggestive or inappropriate manner in dance or other reality TV shows.
The ministry said in its advisory that “all private satellite TV channels are hereby advised to desist from showing children in vulgar, indecent, suggestive and inappropriate manner in dance reality shows or other such programmes and exercise maximum restraint, sensitivity and caution while showing such programmes.”
It also reminded TV channels of relevant provisions of the Programme and Advertising Codes of the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995, which all TV channels have to adhere to. As per Rule 6(1) and 6 (4), the channels are prohibited from denigrating children and using strong language in shows meant for them. Rule 6(1)(l) states that “no programme should be carried in the cable service which denigrates children” and 6(4) mentions that TV channels should take care “to ensure that programmes meant for children do not contain any bad language or explicit scenes of violence”.
The advisory was issued, the ministry stated, after it came to its notice that “that private satellite TV channels telecast dance-based reality shows from time to time, in which, children between the age group of 5 – 10 years or of lesser years are shown dancing to popular Bollywood tunes or other local songs” and the “child participants enact and imitate grown up actors which includes some inappropriate dance movements executed by kids”. The ministry said that the “gestures, dialogues and dance moves performed by the kids appear to be suggestive and obscene for their age”.