NEW DELHI: Indian regulators have ordered television channels not to broadcast reality shows before 11:00 pm over fears about their increasingly adult content, reports said Thursday.
Two hugely popular programmes — “Bigg Boss”, the local version of “Big Brother”, and “Rakhi ka Insaaf” — will be hit by the ruling from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Indian Express said.
The government and affected channels declined to confirm the crackdown, and the shows have continued to air in their regular prime time slots.
The fourth series of “Bigg Boss” attracted the headlines this week with the arrival of scantily-clad Hollywood actress and model Pamela Anderson. Kissing and abusive language have also caused regular scandals on the show.
“Rakhi ka Insaaf,” in which opinionated Bollywood dancer Rakhi Sawant tackles people’s personal problems, hit controversy recently when a former participant committed suicide.
His family blamed the show’s host, saying he fell into depression after Sawant called him impotent while she tried to sort out his marital difficulties.
“We have not asked the producers of the show to modify content or have not done any sort of censoring, just shifted the time slots allotted to them,” a senior ministry official told The Indian Express.
According to The Times of India, the government also instructed news channels not to broadcast footage from the shows while reporting on them.
“I have my kids watching TV during the 9:00 pm slot and it’s disgusting. Indian values are different. Shows like ‘Bigg Boss’ are not made for our culture,” housewife Meena Patel told the Times.
But Bollywood filmmaker Farah Khan tweeted against the ruling, calling it hypocritical and saying that parents should take responsibility for what their children watch.
In March the ministry suspended the France-based channel Fashion TV for nine days for falling foul of obscenity laws by broadcasting bare-breasted models during a fashion show in 2009.