The UK’s broadcasting regulatory authority, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), has imposed a £20,000 fine on the Indian TV channel Republic TV for offensive language and hate speech against Pakistanis.
Ofcom found an episode of the evening primetime show ‘Poochta Hai Bharat’ hosted by Arnab Goswami that aired on Republic TV on 6 September 2019 featuring “comments made by the host and some of his guests that amounted to hate speech against Pakistani people, and derogatory and abusive treatment of Pakistani people. The content was also potentially offensive and was not sufficiently justified by the context”.
During the show, the Indian guests stated that “all Pakistanis are terrorists and their children are militants”, to which Goswami added, “We make scientists, you make terrorists”.
Ofcom noted that “The host and the Indian guests dominated the discussion, with the Pakistani guests attempting to respond but largely being shouted down by the presenter and Indian guests”.
It added that the content “spread, incited, promoted, and justified such intolerance towards Pakistani people among viewers,” adding that, “these statements are based on their nationality alone”.
The regulatory authority further stated,
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.