UK regulator Ofcom fines Republic Bharat for spreading 'hate speech'
Has also asked for a meeting with the channel to discuss compliance arrangements
Dec 23, 2020 07:08:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team Share -
Ofcom, the British regulator for communications services, has fined Republic Bharat for £20,000 (approx INR 19,80,000) for breaching broadcasting rules.
According to a statement from Ofcom, the channel was fined for broadcasting hate speech which must not be included in television programmes, except where it is justified by the context. The channel also broke a rule by broadcasting material which contained abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities that must not be included in television except where it is justified by the context.
This comes after Republic Bharat aired a show 'Poochta hai Bharat' on 6 September 2019 in the UK.
The daily current affairs show was presented by Republic Network's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. The debate focused on India’s attempt to send the Chandrayaan 22 spacecraft to the moon on 22 July 2019. The debate between Mr Goswami and guest contributors focused on India and Pakistan's relations.
According to Ofcom's statement, the show included discussion of India’s record of space exploration and other technological advancements in comparison to Pakistan’s, the on-going dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, and Pakistan’s alleged involvement in terrorist activities against Indian targets.
On 24 February 2020, Ofcom stated that it found that this programme contained uncontextualised hate speech and that this content was potentially highly offensive.
Post which the channel ran an apology 280 during its shows in the United Kingdom.
Ofcom has also requested Republic Bharat to attend a meeting to discuss its compliance arrangements.
The full document can be found here.