Anti-superstition campaign against TV serials

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Mumbai, Mar 4: Stating that TV serials and programmes concerning ghosts, horror and supernatural powers reinforce blind faith in society, a leading anti-superstition body has sought a ban on such content.

The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) (Maharashtra Blind faith Eradication Committee), a voluntary organisation, has questioned if such telecast of ghost and horror episodes or advertising so-called supernatural powers is permissible under the law.

Samiti founder Chairman Dr Narendra Dabholkar and prominent activist Avinash Patil have asked the state government to take a lead in ensuring such content is banned from TV.

"Television is a powerful audio-visual medium having a strong impact. In last decade, television has reached the remotest corners catering to not only the educated masses but illiterate people living in distinct villages," Patil said.

"There are channels devoted to news, religious preaching, and entertainment but other types of serials, ghost and horror serials are becoming more and more popular among the spectators and more so among children," he said.

Television is also used for advertising hundreds of products brought in market like golden rings, pearls, stones, yantras, kavach which the advertisers claim to be endowed with supernatural power, he said.

After being bombarded by such advertisements, the common man tends to go for such things and later realises that he has been cheated. In this way, millions of people are victimised, he said.

Is this kind of public exhibition of ghost and horror episodes or advertising the so-called supernatural powers is permissible under the laws of the land, Patil said.

"Whether the Constitution of India, under the right of freedom of expression, allow such things which cause injury to the mind and good sense of the masses and affects development of scientific temperament of the society," he asked.

Should public exhibition of ghost and horror episodes or serials and false advertisements about so called articles endowed with supernatural power, such as Kavach, Yantras or ring by the TV channels should be allowed, he asked.

The Cinematograph Act 1952, provides for examination and certification of a film or cinema by the Board of Film Certification. There are also guidelines which stipulate that anti-scientific visuals or words should not be exhibited, he said.

The Board of Film certification should ensure that any episode, serial, film or advertisement to be presented by TV channels concerning ghosts, horror and supernatural power should not be allowed for exhibition, he said.

"Such exhibitions reinforce the blind faith in society and strenghens it. It is unconstitutional and injures the social health," he said.

PTI

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