Indian regulators have instructed TV channels not to broadcast reality shows during prime time, after fears of indecency and abusive language, according to reports today.
Popular programmes such as ‘Big Boss 4’ (India’s version of ‘Big Brother’) and ‘Rakhi ka Insaaf’, (featuring opinionated Bollywood dancer Rakhi Sawant) are set to be hit by the ruling, which would see them transmitted at 11pm rather than 9pm.
The Indian Express reports a senior ministry official as saying: “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.”
The government and those channels affected have declined to confirm the move however, and so far the shows remain in the prime time TV schedules.
The Times of India also claims that news channels have been told by the government not to broadcast footage from reality shows while reporting on them.
Earlier this week, the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting told parliament that 14 TV channels had been repeatedly called to book for transmitting indecent or offensive material over recent years. In spite of censures for earlier episodes of ‘Big Boss’, it also confirmed the current season of the reality show – in which Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson is now appearing - had not yet received any official complaints.
‘Rakhi ka Insaaf’ created the wrong kind of headlines recently, when a former participant committed suicide after being labelled ‘impotent’ by the show’s host.