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India’s Republic TV fined £20,000 for hate speech against Pakistanis

Ofcom scrutinised Arnab Goswami's show Puchta Hai Bharat

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Dec 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

Photo: AFP

British media regulator Ofcom has imposed a £20,000 fine on Indian TV channel Republic TV for promoting hatred against Pakistanis on a talkshow.

Ofcom found an episode of Puchta Hai Bharat, hosted by firebrand anchor Arnab Goswami, containing hate speech against Pakistanis.

The episode that aired on July 22, 2019 showed a debate between Goswami, three Indians and three Pakistani guests. While discussing terrorism, the Indian guests claimed that “all Pakistanis are terrorists and their children are militants”.

Goswami added the fuel to the fire by telling Pakistani guests: “We make scientists, you make terrorists.”

On Tuesday, Ofcom said that the broadcast of these statements spread, incited, promoted and justified intolerance towards Pakistanis among viewers. “These statements are based on their nationality alone,” the regulatory body said.

“We considered, however, that the statements, made by a retired major-general from the Indian Army, which clearly threatened that the Indian military would attack Pakistani civilians in their homes, were an expression of hatred and desire to kill by a figure of authority.”

Ofcom added that the tone of the entire debate was provocative and the Pakistani guests were repeatedly interrupted and given little time to make points.

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