The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry, in a recent advisory, has asked private TV channels, cable operators, and DTH operators to ensure strict conformity to the Programming Code in the Cable TV Act in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict. It becomes imperative to ensure that debates/discussions/visuals carried in the electronic media do not incite any divisive or anti-national feelings or sentiments, according to I&B ministry.
The Programming Code states that any program should not contain visuals or words, which are contemptuous of religious groups, and should not promote anti-national attitudes. It also states that programming content should not have anything that amounts to contempt of court, or affects the integrity of the nation. Recently, News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India (NBSA), an independent industry body, had advised its members to exercise caution in telecast of any news related to the Ayodhya matter. It also said that members should not air sensational, inflammatory, or provocative content.