United Kingdom’s (UK) broadcast regulator – Office of Communications or OfCom has penalised Arnab Goswami’s prime time Debate show – ‘Puchta Hai Bharat’ on Republic Bharat, the Hindi news channel of Republic News Network.
OfCom imposed a fine of 20 thousand pounds (19.73 lakhs in rupees) on Republic Bharat’s prime time debate show – ‘Puchta Hai Bharat’, hosted by Arnab Goswami.
The fine has been imposed on Worldview Media Network Limited, which operates Republic Bharat in the UK, for “failing to comply with broadcasting rules”.
The fine has been imposed on Republic Bharat for broadcasting content that involved “offensive language”, “hate speech” and “abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities”.
OfCom said that the September 6, 2019 episode of ‘Puchta Hai Bharat’, hosted by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, contained views (“uncontextualised hate speech”) expressed by Arnab Goswami and some of the guests that “violated its broadcasting norms”.
“Ofcom has imposed a sanction on the Licensee of a financial penalty of £20,000, a direction to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom, and a direction not to repeat the program,” the broadcast regulator said in a release.
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The September 6, 2019 episode of ‘Puchta Hai Bharat’ on Republic TV, for which OfCom has imposed the penalty, was related to India’s Chandrayaan 2 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”.
According to the statement of OfCom, Arnab Goswami and his panelist, while referring to the people in Pakistan said, “Their scientists, doctors, their leaders, politicians all are terrorists. Even their sports people. Every child is a terrorist over there. Every child is a terrorist. You are dealing with a terrorist entity.”
OfCom also raised objection to the term ‘Paki, which was used by Arnab Goswami and his team of panelist in the show and said, “It was a racist word and unacceptable to the audience of UK.”
Meanwhile, Republic Bharat has been asked to air an apology.