I&B ministry “advisory” on TV protest coverage


In the cold war era, it used to be said that the first target of wannabe-dictators was government-controlled radio stations—take control of it and you control the message going out.

In the post-liberalised era, the first target of the government seems to be private television stations.

Below is the full text of the “advisory” issued by the information and broadcasting ministry headed by Manish Tiwari to news and current affairs satellite TV channels on Sunday as coverage of the protests in Delhi brought the “people to the gate” (in the memorable words of The Times of India).

Interestingly, the chairman of the national broadcasting standards authority, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court, J.S. Verma, has been simultaneously named as the chairman of the three-member committee to review the laws for “speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault”.


All News and Current Affairs  satellite Television Channels

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
“A” Wing Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi-110001

23rd December, 2012


Whereas a number of private satellite news TV channels have been showing programmes covering round-the-clock direct telecast of the events relating to public demonstration being held in New Delhi in the wake of the unfortunate and tragic incident of gang rape of a young girl on 16th December, 2012 in a moving bus.

The  channels have been covering the agitation  and the efforts of the law enforcing authorities to maintain law & order, as well as the commentaries of the channel reporters to portray the incidents from their own perspectives.

Whereas this incident and the  public outcry in its aftermath are a very sensitive issue and any inappropriate media reportage thereon is likely to vitiate the law and order situation.

It has been observed that some private satellite news TV channels in their 24X7 coverage have not been showing due responsibility and maturity in telecasting the events relating the said demonstration and such a telecast is likely to cause deterioration in the law & order situation, hindering the efforts of the law enforcing authorities. (emphasis added)

Whereas Rule 6(1)(e)  of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, which contains the Programme Code to be strictly adhered to by all private satellite television channels, provides that no programme should be carried in the cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitude.

Now, therefore, all private satellite television channels are advised to scrupulously follow the Progarmme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 and to ensure to telecast the matter in a responsible manner with due care, maturity and restraint.

Any violation of the Programme Code will invite such action as provided for in the Cable Television(Regulation)  Act, 1995 and the Rules framed thereunder as well as the terms & conditions stipulated in Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines.

Supriya Sahu
Joint Secretary to the Government of India

Photograph: courtesy Press Trust of India

Crossposted on churumuri

Also read: The New York Times calls Kapil Sibal‘s bluff

What brainwave has struck our netas tonight?

CHURUMURI POLL: should Facebook be censored?

Say ‘No’ to India’s blogger control Act

Censorship in the name of ‘national interest’

Is UPA hitting back for Anna Hazare coverage?


  1. … British log sabhya thhey.. ye gundey hain… inko latka do. Nai to rape hotey rahengey.. aur ye haste rahengey…:)

  2. Aam Aadmi

    As per the Fundamental rights granted to me and to my fellow citizens, right of speech and right of expression surpass Cable Television(Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rule 6(1)(e) so stop hitting back at the protesters and you will not have to issue such advisories.

    Aam Aadmi,
    Citizen of India for which the I&B Ministry and its “appointed” minister works and not the other way round.
    Jai Hind.

    1. Raj

      Kya baat hai brother dho dala kash sab apne funda mental rights ko jaane

    2. you people are i thing destablised the peace of this country.

      ultimately defeat of govt.1-lack in who is undemocratic(tackling the kejriwal,2-strict action against ex. gernal who demorelised our defence saying we have limited amunitions,3-strict action against media(90%brahmins),undemocratic.

      these people need serious action otherwise threat to the nation.

  3. But unfortunately(for the Govt.), these days news channels are not the only source of information.

    I seriously hope the govt loses the next election, solely because of the way they have handled protests off late.

    1. patil m s

      Indians are famous for forgetting things very fast …….don’t be surprised if the same Delhi people re elect the same govt again…

      1. Don’t be so hopeful. The next party/parties coming to power will not be different in character. Moreover the majority of Indian masses have been badly brainwashed so that they foolishly form vote banks of one party or the other. Dalits for BSP, Muslims-Yadavs for SP, Hindu chauvinists for BJP, committed Marathis for MNS/SS, the socalled liberal secularists for INC, and so on.

    2. Do some soul searching why u link with election? Think about solutions , when u do not have any suggestion then do if u have Diabetes will {which is incurable} u suicide or shall find the way to control it . be positive

      1. Remember Arun Mehtaji,
        Voting is the ultimate power in the hands of the people in a democracy. If you do not link this to election, what else to link it to? if you take to the streets, they beat you up. If you link it to election, people like you say, do “soul searching”. So what exactly is the solution for all this? Can you please explain?

        Who are you sir? Are you a paid employee of the Congress?

      2. @Koushik: Well said!

      3. This is not the first instance where Govt. has tried to curtail our basic rights and stop flow of information. Not electing them again is one such solution which sends out a strong message.

        What is your definition of being positive? Turning a blind eye to everything that the Govt. does?

  4. Amit

    A democratic dictatorship is worse than a Individual one…….whom to fight?

  5. Sudar

    This is how a scam government does

  6. What govt is doing to control the situation? if the protest is going on even today, then it is the government failure.

  7. Cable Television(Regulation) Act, 1995 says “Anti National” not anti incumbent government.

  8. WTF…. Manish Tiwari….How can u control the media… rryt nw u r a minister & in power but we ll teach u a lesson in 2014 when u ll bcm beggar & move house to house for votes… upto 2010 we feel u r a mature person but in last 2 years ur statements & act are nowhere less than ur big brother abhishek manu singhvi……. wait for results till 2014

  9. Suvarna

    They are nondemocratic .. if times comes they will impose emergency ..

  10. kageriwal is misusing freedom ,ipso facto looks like educated joker ,always search faults in others and never thinks that his voice is doing harm to society at large and spreading hatred and anarchy everywhere . what was the mistake of police at the time of agitation ,why u people are pushing every time when there was no need ,in the grab of AAM adami name . Be sensible kageriwal otherwise u will be some day be called as jaichand of India .

    Faults in others easy to locate but do ever he suggested solutions? what and when he suggested solutions , see my dear every noble person by looking over problems provides noble way of solving the puzzle only fault finding entails no responsibility again my dear u thinks that some one is wrong then do u will only do only fault finding or merits the solutions . They are wrong so u had a chance to say but only searching fault line your energy is in waste and finger pointing some times become fist and never see the reason and violence is the result .

    1. vivek

      Sir, is it wrong to show faults of others?

    2. Narendra Bhardwaj

      mr. arun mehta, …. keep it up another. hahahaha

    3. Mr. Mehta Mr Kejriwal first came up with a problem in the system and its sujjestion for the solution of the problem and the best he was ready to go for an open debate in the presense of media means the the people at large including you, but u see chor aur beiman logon ko yeh hazam nahi ho raha tha kyonki national television pe bargain karne ke layak points nahi the. so ab bhugto…. aur 2014 ke baad janta se bachte firna hi in chor aur be-iman netaon ke paas bachega……

      1. why this venom altogether, why this much hatred ,i cannot understand the mindset after all what u have in your mind. what better u all could have done write down? debating all the time hatred one day we shall annihilate ourselves as in doing around most of the Muslim dominated countries .

    4. I just want to say 1 point that police men are not innocent on ground they are following orders, god has given a little sense, use it , I m not going to lathi-charge on my mother/sis on any kind of order from anyone…

    5. Sudha Kumar

      Hey man! Looks like u r not even paid by Cong 4 dis propoganda, you r so bad. Point no 1-He’s NOT Kageriwal he’s Kejriwal. Point no 2-You r pointless! So, please understand that d motive is to keep a check on errant regimes lik d Cong who have done immense harm to this country with their loot, scams, entitlement politics, votebank politics, opportunism, casteism, communalism, cash4votes (direct2ppl), cash4votes (in parliament), freebie politics, crony capitalism and “so-called reforms” like FDI in retail and agriculture. The target is not only Congress but all politicos who have embraced corruption without a care for d aam aadmi. This party represents a political laundryshop, that will set a new standard for accountability that all parties should follow and emulate. Jai Hind!

    6. Mr. Mehta, since independence non other than Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel & Lal Bahadur Shastri, of the Congressies have been dedicated to the country but to their party president. All the problems present in the country have been created by Congress because their thinking is ‘ don’t solve any problem, problem itself will die’. If, we have Kejariwal like people in the country, we should encourage them rather criticizing. How many Kejariwal like people are available in the country?

    7. Jayanth

      Cover every fault and india looks magnificent . COWARD. If he finds faults then u try to give a solution and u will find how serious it is . I am sure you are a paid congressman.

  11. vivek

    It seems nothing wrong with this letter. But, the intentions behind it is tottaly malafide. We are living in republic state and we have got right to speak under our law. The media is more responsible to the public than the government as they are the voice of public. How can a government write to media for not transmitting the news as it is. If there is violence, it will show it. Media is showing the things without putting any colour in it.

    1. R. D. Choudhary,

      The act of writing letters advising do’s and donot’s does not fit in a democratic set up. Media is bound to broadcast truth and then only can a Govt be perhaps out of deep slumber.we still feel some media falling in line with the Govt of the day while broadcasting programmes.This should not be encouraged as the public is getting educated and matured anyway to understand the depth and dimension or the severity of a situation.Media should have a tribal loyalty towards the interest of the Nation.Politicians come and go to and from power but media remains as a vigil to highlight truth.

  12. dhananjay singh

    ho raha bharat nirman,des ko brbad krna ho to aise leaders ko vote dete rahiyega desvasio, jha se ap log inhe chunkar bhejte hai cabinet me
    shame on such leaders

  13. Gaurav

    Media telecast the things which happen in the society. They dn’t make it themselves,they run news channels not production houses. Dn’t use cheap ways to hide your own mistakes. Dn’t misuse your power. . . Let the media be free. .

  14. One can say this is brazen infringement on the freedom of speech. But what of the TV channels, themselves? Quite often they are seen as willing accomplices of the government. They willingly propagate the political philosophy or view point of the government to the exclusion of all others.

    The kind of press they give to ‘prince’ Rahul Gandhi or willingly provide a ‘firewall’ to him and his mother is an example of the subservience of the electronic media. By now it is no secret as to why the electronic media pulled out stories about Robert Vadra’s wheeling-dealings and how came about owning almost Rs 500 crores in 3 years with an initial investment of just Rs 50 lakhs. One hint from the then I & B Minister Ambica Soni and the entire media changed gears and pulled out Nitin Gadkari as if out of a hat. Reports about it appeared here on sans serif.

    If media has neither the guts to defy such diktats nor the moral and ethical strength to defy then, it has no right to complain now. The government only reminded the media of the factual position of law as it stands.

    Some elements of the electronic media were in favour of regulating social media for their own reasons. They were either with the government or felt the constant niggling criticism from the social media a nuisance they could live without. In either case they went along with the idea of censoring social media. Well, now they should learn that what is applicable to others is applicable to them as well!

    1. No freedom is absolute do u can provide freedom to your subjects which infringes other rights and spread anarchy? easy to preach difficult to practice.

      1. Exactly my point. No freedom is absolute. Look at two contrasting examples:

        The newschannels went overboard in defending M. F. Hussain’s right to offend Hindu gods and goddesses. Then they cried hoarse about freedom of expression.

        The newschannels also went overboard telecasting the same images of Gujarat riots again and again and again, magnifying the figures of the dead and injured conjuring up mind boggling figures (“thousands and thousands of muslims killed”). It suited the Congress government then and the newschannels to cosy up to it. Now that the boot is on the other leg, the government uses its whip – there is no point in complaining.

  15. ravi

    administration is having fear for public outburst. they are not caring for people. they are thinking of not losing next election

  16. The most disturbing part?
    It is undersigned by a woman.

  17. But, somehow, it’s time that media, largely TV because it has gone errant to a greater extent in compare to print, must introspect and decide if it is to do its beat rightly or sell the public emotion and mood till it sours itself in the blind efforts to garner TRP, thus advertisements and money.

  18. I think everyone is over reacting to this advisory mail. As we watch all the english television channels they seem to be reporting efficiently without much exaggeration. Switch to regional channels and think again. The tone and sensationalist coloring of news can lead to unnecessary reactions from viewers.

  19. M.R. Dua

    so, the government’s control, ‘heavy’ hand and sweet cautions begin. act cautiously, carefully lest any one is caught unawares. wish you well on the new year, 2013. m.r.dua

  20. Sunil

    I agree with the government. The media channels just want to increase their ad revenues by airing controversies and hate.

    All anchors do is pimp for information: “Oh, he said this, what is your reaction?” is all you get from TV channel editorial.

    I suggest imposition of strong media laws to control unwarranted and hateful TV coverage. I also recommend that Justice Katju be given more authority to fix these runaway channels.

    BTW: Kejriwal, Ramdev and Gen VK Singh are opportunists and disgruntled elements out to foment trouble and not one TV channel questions them.

    Sunil Tinani

  21. […] part of the advisory had this to say: “It has been observed that some private satellite news TV channels in their […]

  22. jitender singh

    manis tiwari bhut aacha bolta hai; lkin isko bot nahi dena glati se bhi,ye cogres ke khride huye log hai,apne hi desh ke kuchh log kogras ne khakid liye hai,jo hmari lok tantar ke khilap hai;ye log bhart ki janta ke khilap hai,ye log khali tv par hi byanbaji karte hai.2014 me yese kisi bhi admi ko mat jitao;apne bot ka uchit upyog kro;

    1. i hope sanity shall prevail while commenting ,look inward before uttering foul by uncontrolled mouth

  23. Navin Chandra Misra

    I&B Minister dadagiri na karen, nahin to public karaaraa jawab degi.

  24. With people so connected through social media, with people united in action, they really won’t be able to get away with calling self interest, National interest.

  25. acused raped this poor girl at 16’s night,but media raped the dignity of her family for a long time, now hwo care about her helpless parent…………………

  26. Dilip Chaware

    31 December 2012

    I have been reading and watching the coverage of the horrifying rape incident in Delhi and the angry coverage about it ever since it happened. I totally endorse the sentiments.
    simultaneously, I have started reading daily newspapers and various television channels through a new perspective.
    I am ashamed to say that most of the newspapers and channels which are crying hoarse over the rape and lambasting the government (as if it is responsible) day in and day out are not at all squeamish about displaying female flesh on every page of their supplements and clips of year-enders.
    Are we really serious about the outrage we are trying to flaunt?
    The only creditable fact about this sorry episode is guarding privacy of the bereaved family and the victim though some newspapers have almost identified them by publishing stories about the village she hailed from and meeting her acquaintances. Still, by and large, the media deserves kudos for being restrained on this one and only count.
    How much cheap sex the media should use for business purposes?
    Does journalism remain a profession if we accept the argument that ‘we show what the public wants’ and exploit base sentiments to further business?
    Still, the media keeps on demanding special privileges and claims to be the guardian of freedom.
    I write this in the hope of eliciting responses from media barons, whose wealth has been growing phenomenally.
    How many journalists, who are still part of some media house and keep lecturing to the government daily about the right and wrong, can state their owners in the eye and tell them to stop this rape of journalism? I think very few will have the guts to respond honestly.
    I am waiting.
    A Happy 2013 to all!

    दिलीप चावरे
    Dilip Chaware

    (Former Special Correspondent, The Times of India, Mumbai and City Editor, the Free Press Journal)
    401 B-1, Sundervan
    Apeksha Society
    Andheri (West),
    Mumbai 400053.

    1. Very very true Dilip Chaware ji. One thing I would like to say is, since media has been declared an Industry, journalism has no more remained a practice but only a profession to make journalists survive and the owners, you can say industrialists of the industry, thrive. I such a situation, where profit and feasibility rules over the whole business, nothing to be wonder that Journalists are no better than industrial workers striving to guard the interests of the owners and the business interests of the organisation. I see very few in Indian media working to guard the sanctity of Journalism than making a commercial use of it.
      Even, in the mad race to hook audience or get more readers, some of the most useful tools have been used so irresponsibly that they have lost their importance. For example, the very tool of ‘vox populi’, meant to draw public opinions on important issues or policy matters, has now become the tool of killing time and space in the name of involving people with media. \
      By and large, media, how I see, is detaching it from the objective while striving to become a successful business.
      However, it’s my personal opinion.
      Basudev Mahapatra
      Bhubaneswar (09337325996)

  27. Anand

    Mr. Arun Mehta u blamed Kejriwal with great passion and that passion is well understood I don want to comment much on the things like this. FIRST of all go and read WREN n MARTIN coz your English is really wonderful with awesome grammar. SECOND correct spelling is KEJRIWAL you wrote G in place of J. That means in total u need to work on ur spellings too. Are you really well educated ?? Yaar Hindi me likh lete agar English nai aatee thee !!

    Say openly u don know English !! 🙂

  28. […] or wrongly, the current Government was just following cues from the past regimes. In 2012 an advisory was issued based on the same rule 6 (1) e. In 2013 an advisory from the Government “threatened […]

  29. […] or wrongly, the current Government was just following cues from the past regimes. In 2012 an advisory was issued based on the same rule 6 (1) e. In 2013 an advisory from the Government “threatened […]

  30. […] or wrongly, the current Government was just following cues from the past regimes. In 2012 an advisory was issued based on the same rule 6 (1) e. In 2013 an advisory from the Government “threatened TV […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.