Indian news channel Republic TV has been fined £20,000 by British regulatory authority Office of Communication [OfCom], over airing derogatory and offensive statements against Pakistan last year. The hate speech was taken under consideration in February 2020 after host Arnab Goswami alongside his guests dragged and dishonored the neighbors’ nation publicly.
The aforementioned debate dates back to September 2019, the times when Indo-Pak relations were at the brim of war, owing to the Kashmir issue. Indian’s fumed of rage against the neighboring country, didn’t want to miss any occasion of humiliating the Pakistanis. However, such deed of hatred has landed the Indian news channel Republic TV in hot waters, as it gets fined for promoting such content.
On 6th September 2019, an episode of Poochta Hai Bharat premiered, hosted by Arnab Goswami with his guests from both India and Pakistan. The live broadcast had criticized Pakistanis publicly, using offensive language that violated the general accepted standards of World Wide Media Networks.
Unveiling the show, the host Goswami had proudly announced, “I am Arnab Goswami. Today once again India will be on the moon. But while India is going to the moon, Pakistan is weeping very badly. At the time when India is winning the moon, Pakistan is losing on the issue of Kashmir. Pakistan could only add a moon in the national flag. And we reached the moon twice. But why are these Pakistanis weeping? And we are sending Chandrayaan, and you are sending terrorists. You will only do what you are capable of.”
Goswami’s hate speech had given birth to a heated conversation against Pakistani and was soon continued by his fellow guests, who contributed equally in derogating the neighbor nation.
“They cannot make scientists because they think it is their victory to produce terrorists. Pakistan itself is going to hell. But it is spreading false rumours on the issue of Kashmir” – came from an unknown speaker.
Furthermore, another participant Gaurav Arya had openly called the whole Pakistani nation terrorist. “You said that India makes scientists and Pakistan makes terrorists Arnab, they do make scientists but their scientists are terrorists. 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. Every child is a terrorist over there. Every child is a terrorist. You are dealing with a terrorist entity.”
Regulator of communication services in the United Kingdom Ofcom came across the episode in February 2020, subsequent to which it had put Worldview Media Network Limited (owner of channel) on notice to consider the breaches and afforded Worldview the opportunity to present its case.
“We considered these statements to be expressions of hatred based on intolerance of Pakistani people based on their nationality alone, and that the broadcast of these statements spread, incited, promoted and justified such intolerance towards Pakistani people among viewers” – came from the organization.
Worldview later submitted written submissions but did not make any oral representation at the hearing. Hence, the Indian channel has been fined of £20,000 by the forum.
Moreover, according to Ofcom, the poochta hai bharat’s episode had violated Rules 2.3 (offensive and discriminatory language), 3.2 (hate speech) and 3.3 (abusive and derogatory treatment of individuals, religions or communities) of the broadcasting Code. And, regardless of the apology, Republic TV, the Indian channel that aired the show has been fined.