I&B Ministry Issues Advisory To TV Channels Over Vulgarity In Kids' Dance Show
Taking a serious note of showing children in a vulgar and suggestive manner in dance reality shows, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has issued an advisory to desist from it.
The advisory sent to the private TV channels requested them to “desist from showing children in a vulgar, indecent, suggestive and inappropriate manner on dance reality shows”. “The gestures, dialogues and dance moves performed by the kids appear to be suggestive and obscene for their age,” the advisory stated.
The advisory further suggested the channels to exercise maximum restraint, sensitivity and caution while showing such reality shows and programmes.
According to the Programme & Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, no programme should be carried on TV which denigrates children, and programmes meant for children should not contain any bad language or explicit scenes of violence, the advisory further noted.
The I&B Ministry took the stern step against the TV channels after viewers complained that the dance moves appeared to inappropriate for kids’ ages.
“We have already sent the advisory to all the private TV channels. We took this step because we had received a number of complaints regarding kids’ performances in dance reality shows. It’s a general advisory and we have not gone into specific instructions. We want the channels to ensure that the performances are decent,” said an I&B official.
Earlier in 2012, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) had issued an advisory on ‘Sexualisation of Children in TV shows’, asking all Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) member channels to “refrain from featuring children below the age of 12 years in any situation that has sexual or adult overtones”. However, in the last seven years not much has been changed.
Meanwhile some of the people from the industry also reacted to the advisory issued by the I&B Ministry.
“If I see such a performance by a kid, as a judge, I would definitely point it out to the producers as well as to the choreographer. However, a judge wouldn’t even know of it until they see the performance. By then it’s too late. It needs to be monitored at the conception level. Also, since the costumes and the songs affect the overall look of the choreography, the choices must be age appropriate. At my dance academy, I always stress on age-appropriate dance moves for kids,” Ashley Lobo, who was a judge on India’s Dancing Superstar told the Times of India.
The film director Anurag Basu and also a judge of the reality show called Super Dancer which is aired on Sony TV welcomed the move by the I&B ministry.
“I don’t know whether any episode of our show has triggered the I&B ministry to issue such an advisory, but I’m glad that they did. I welcome it. However, I’m not sure how this will be implemented because this issue is quite subjective. As judges, we often face this dilemma of how to judge a kid whose performance appeared to be obscene. Even during the auditions, I told so many kids not to imitate adults’ expressions and moves. I don’t know if those were aired or not, but I have been saying this to a number of contestants,” Basu said.
“In fact, a few episodes ago, I said that I’d never want my daughter to perform like this on stage. And what’s not okay for my kids, how can I allow it for other kids? The question is, where do we draw the line? There is a very thin line between looking cute and looking vulgar in such performances. We shouldn’t let kids imitate expressions and moves of adults. Basically, it’s a collective conscience call,” he added.