New Delhi: The United Kingdom's Office of Communication, commonly known Ofcom, has imposed a financial penalty of £20,000 on Republic Bharat channel after finding breaches of the broadcasting code.
The release issued by the broadcasting regulatory said that the Hindi channel on 6 September 2019 broadcast Poochta Hai Bharat, a daily current affairs discussion programme in Hindi presented by the journalist Arnab Goswami. The Ofcom found that the programme contained "uncontextualized hate speech" and content that was "potentially highly offensive".
The regulatory found that the programme breached the norms of the broadcasting code.
The Ofcom also said that the channel declined an opportunity given to make oral representations at a hearing.
Apart from the financial penalty, the channel is bound to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom. The channel is also directed to not repeat the programme.
According to the Ofcom, in the programme, the presenter and some of his guests conveyed the view that all Pakistani people are terrorists, including that: "their scientists, doctors, their leaders, politicians all are terrorists. Even their sports people"; "every child is a terrorist over there. Every child is a terrorist. You are dealing with a terrorist entity". One guest also described Pakistani scientists as "thieves", while another described Pakistani people as "beggars". In the context of these criticisms, the presenter, addressing Pakistan and/or Pakistani people, said: "We make scientists, you make terrorists".
The regulatory held that the statements to be expressions of hatred based on intolerance of Pakistani people based on their nationality alone.