Information and Broadcasting Minister, Venkaiah Naidu repeatedly said yesterday that under the UPA several television channels were ordered off the air. He said at least 21 times channels had been ordered off the air for various reasons. He was speaking in defence of the NDA's decision to take NDTV off the air for a day on November 9. However by evening the decision had been put on hold.
While there was a lot of outrage over this decision by the government to ban the channel for a day, it must be recalled that this is not the first occurrence. It was however for the first time that a channel was asked to be taken off air over the issue of national security.
Bans in the past:
As per data and statistics available, television channels were blacked out 28 times in the past ten years. They were for reasons such as adult content. Between the years 2005 and 2013, the UPA government ordered 20 channels to go off air for airing adult content.
FTV was taken off air thrice bwtween 2007 and 2010. In 2015, AL Jazeera was taken off air for five days for showing a wrong map of India. Similarly the government had in the past ordered channels such as AXN and Cine World to go off air. At that time, the government had said that these channels were violating the provisions under the Programme Code of Cable act. It was said that programmes that denigrate women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals.