The silent screen ran for an hour from 9pm, the slot during which the documentary about the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape was to have been telecast. On Wednesday, the government decided to the halt the telecast, claiming that the filmmaker had not obtained the proper clearances to interview one of the perpetrators of the rape, who is lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail. The government also contended that film would hurt India's image.
NDTV's gesture echoed the blank columns run in The Statesman and The Indian Express when its articles were censored during Indira Gandhi's Emergency in 1975.
The TV channel's move drew mixed reactions from social media users.
Some prominent commentators approved of the gesture.
@ShekharGupta Brilliant silent protest @ndtv on rape documentary ban. Surely the silliest thing done by this govt so far, one they'll regret
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) March 8, 2015
This is the most effective protest in the history of Indian news tv. Solidarity #Ndtv. — nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) March 8, 2015
Even Bharatiya Janata Party supporters were impressed.
NDTV's aesthetic protest almost equivalent to candles at Wagah. — Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) March 8, 2015
Well done NDTV for protesting so meaningfully against the ban on India's Daughter: a blank hour to register censorship.
— Tavleen Singh (@tavleen_singh) March 8, 2015
But others couldn't resist the opportunity to find humour in the situation.
Congrats @ndtv it would be really nice if you could continue this on 24*7 Basis or even better shut down the channel. One less traitor MSM.
— Navroop Singh (@s_navroop) March 8, 2015
Waiting for Arnab's Solid Wall Of Noise response to the NDTV protest. — samit basu (@samitbasu) March 8, 2015
ndtv protezting againzt ban? who carez, im watchin the logikal thrillar "dhuum 3" on set max — Norinder Mudi (@NorinderMudi) March 8, 2015
Interesting model of content management being demonstrated by NDTV. Should NewsHour follow this model too?
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) March 8, 2015
Tonight @NDTV has won TRP's by showing a blank screen.
— Nishanth Nature (@NishanthNature) March 8, 2015
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