Republic Bharat was fined approximately Rs 19.73 lakh (20,000 pounds) by the United Kingdom’s communications regulator Office of Communications on Tuesday for broadcasting content that involved “offensive language”, “hate speech” and “ abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities”. The Hindi news channel arm of Republic TV has also been asked to air an apology on the channel.
In a release mentioning details on the strictures, the Office of Communications said that in the channel’s “Poochta Hai Bharat” programme which was aired on September 6, 2019, views expressed by the host Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and some of the guests violated its broadcasting norms. The sanctions have been imposed on Worldview Media Network Limited, which holds the licence for airing Republic Bharat in the UK.
Republic Bharat has been fined for a programme which was related to India’s Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft mission to the moon and “involved a comparison of India’s space exploration and technological advancements compared to Pakistan, and Pakistan’s alleged terrorist activities against Indian targets,” the release said.
The regulator said “the comments made by Goswami and his guests on the dicussuion panel amounted to hate speech against Pakistani people, and derogatory and abusive treatment of Pakistani people”.
According to a report in Times of India, In the programme, Goswami and some of the guests conveyed the view that all Pakistani people are terrorists, the report said. Gaurav Arya, the channel’s consulting editor, said: “their scientists, doctors, their leaders, politicians all are terrorists. Even their sports people. This whole nation is terrorist. I do not think anyone has been saved. You are dealing with a terrorist entity.”
“In the context of these criticisms, the presenter [Goswami], addressing Pakistan and/or Pakistani people, said: We make scientists, you make terrorists.”
The regulator also mentioned comments made by one of the guests identified as “General Sinha”, who referred to people of Pakistan as “beggars” and threatened military attack Pakistan, reported Scroll.
Ofcom noted that the content of the programme was “potentially offensive and was not sufficiently justified by the context”. It added that the comments made were “expressions of hatred based on intolerance of Pakistani people based on their nationality alone” and promoted and justified intolerance towards Pakistani people among viewers.
The UK regulator also took note of the use of the term “Paki”, which it said was a racist word and unacceptable to the audience of UK. National herald India