The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday issued a second advisory to all private television channels asking them to refrain from broadcasting content that is “likely to instigate violence or which promotes anti-national attitudes”. The last advisory issued by the ministry was on December 11 after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha and violent protests erupted in the North East against the legislation.
“It is observed that notwithstanding the above advisory, some TV channels are telecasting content which does not appear to be in the spirit of the Programme Codes specified therein,” it said.
The media advisory refers to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 to caution TV channels from broadcasting content that affects the “integrity of the nation”.
The Editors Guild of India had sought the withdrawal of the first advisory and called it “regressive”, saying it “interferes in the functioning of a free media”, on December 15.
Guwahati in Assam was the initial epicentre of the protests but they have since spread to the rest of the country. Thousands of protestors were detained across the country as rallies were held in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and many other cities. On Friday, the Delhi Police used batons and water cannons on people protesting against the amended citizenship law in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj locality, hours after massive rallies at the city’s Jama Masjid led by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad.