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Centre tells FM radio channels to avoid content glorifying drugs, gun culture and alcohol

In an advisory, the govt said radio channels would be punished if they violated the diktat; it wants private channels to follow the same advertisement & programme codes as All India Radio.

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released an advisory Thursday telling FM radio channels to stop broadcasting content that glorified drugs, alcohol and gun culture.

The ministry is of the opinion that such content could affect children of impressionable age and could potentially lead to an increase in the “culture of gangsters”, as was noted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some FM Radio channels are playing song/broadcast content which glorify alcohol/drugs/weaponry/gangster/gun culture etc. The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana has taken judicial note that such content affect the children of impressionable age. In addition, it gives rise to the culture of gangsters,” the advisory read.

The central government wants all FM radio channels to follow the same advertisement and programme codes that All India Radio (AIR) follows or any code prescribed by the Centre. According to the advisory, such songs and broadcast content violate the present AIR codes.

The ministry has also said channels would be punished they continued to violate norms.

“In the event of the permission holder violating any terms and conditions of permission or any other provisions of the FM radio policy, the grantor shall have the right to impose the sanctions for suspension of the permission and prohibition of broadcast as prescribed therein,” the advisory said.

Sources in the Association of Radio Organisations of India told ThePrint: “This advisory is specifically directed at Punjab since one of the channels there had mistakenly played songs by Sidhu Moosewala. There was an intervention by the courts as well and channels are going to be cognizant of that. Otherwise, all FM channels are sensitive and responsible enough to play songs that would not be harmful.”

Also read: Media must report responsibly during terrorist attacks: Anurag Thakur


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