Arnab Goswami Channel Fined 20 Lakh Rupees by UK Regulator for Promoting Hatred of Pakistanis | India News
On Tuesday, Ofcom imposed the fine of Rs 20 lakh on Worldview Media Network Limited, which is licensed by Republic Bharat, which targets the Hindi-speaking community in the UK, for various violations of Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.
Ofcom has also imposed an address on the channel to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings and not repeat the show.
The fine was related to an episode of the daily current affairs show Poochta Hai Bharat aired on September 6, 2019 hosted by Goswami, which Ofcom said amounted to “a sustained and repeated attack on the Pakistani people.”
At the time, the station had only been broadcasting since August 2019 in Britain. Ofcom said it had identified the program during “routine monitoring” and commissioned a translation.
The broadcast featured a discussion between Goswami and three Indian guests and three Pakistanis about India’s attempt to send the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft on its mission to the moon on July 22, 2019.
The debate involved a comparison of India’s space exploration and technological advancements compared to Pakistan, and “Pakistan’s alleged terrorist activities against India,” Ofcom said in its published decision.
The debate was against the backdrop of rising tensions between India and Pakistan following the revocation of Article 370 by India.
On the show, Goswami and some of the guests expressed the opinion that all Pakistanis are terrorists, according to the report. Gaurav Arya, the channel’s consulting editor, said: “Its scientists, doctors, leaders, politicians, they are all terrorists. Even your athletes. This entire nation is a terrorist. I don’t think anyone has been saved. It is a terrorist entity. ”
One guest, Prem Shukla, described Pakistani scientists as “thieves” and Goswami, addressing the Pakistani people, said: “We make scientists, you make terrorists.”
Worldview denied promoting or justifying hatred, arguing that the show was based on “a legitimate story covering Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist activities backed by recent events and statements by leading Pakistani public figures at a time when India was working to become a a space power ”.
He said the purpose of the debate was “to show how India has made progress, while Pakistan in the same period has failed and the content is based on evidence that Pakistan was trying to infiltrate terrorists, threaten Indian sovereignty and destabilize India.”
The show also compared Pakistanis to donkeys and monkeys and referred to them as “Paki”, which Ofcom said is “a racist term that is highly offensive and unacceptable to a UK audience.”
The licensee argued that the use of the term “Paki” was not intended to be offensive, nor would it be construed as such “particularly when used in the subcontinent” and that it had already issued an apology 280 times “to redress the violations.”
The licensee said that “the company is operating at a loss and has experienced a ‘substantial drop’ in revenue as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
But Ofcom said that the program “contained statements that amounted to hate speech against the Pakistani people, which was abusive and derogatory regarding their nationality.”
The regulator said in light of rising tensions between the two nations at the time: “We consider that hate speech against the Pakistani people broadcast on this show … had the potential to cause further damage to the already strained relationship between the peoples of India and Pakistani Origin…. posed a risk of harm to the Pakistani community in the UK. ”
Ofcom said it had alerted the licensee just over two weeks before the broadcast that it was receiving complaints about pejorative references to Pakistani people on the service and has since recorded three more code violations against the channel, one related to the transmission of violence. , one related to derogatory criticism from the Pakistani community and another related to giving undue prominence to a trademark.