Political and religious TV channels may shut down

Bapun Raz

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Television channels run by religious and political
entities may not stay on air for long, if the
government accepts the recommendations of the
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI is the policy recommending body for the
broadcast sector. TRAI chairperson Nripendra Misra, in his letter to
Information & Broadcasting Secretary Sushma
Singh, said restricting religious and political
organisations from running TV channels “ will ensure the… medium is used for advancing public interest” and “ for greater realisation of the common man’ s right to be informed fully and fairly” . TRAI has recommended that such channels be
phased out in three-four years. However, the proposed restriction does not apply
to an individual who’ s a member of a political or religious body. In India, there are about 35 religious channels; five
other channels are affiliated to political parties,
including the Congress, the CPM, DMK and AIADMK. Kishore Mahotta of Sanskar TV hoped that if the
recommendations were made into a law, “ it would be same for all” . Karunakar Raj of Day Star accepted it was a
“ Christian channel” but wanted to study the proposal before commenting.
 
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