Talking to reporters, Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, announced that the government has requested Prasar Bharati to stop showing any live or recorded footage of parliamentary sessions on Indian TV channels.
“Majority of Indians are offended by the what is shown on live TV under the pretext of parliamentary sessions. Images of members of parliament — the representatives of Indian people — screaming, throwing things, abusing each other, and in general acting like eight year old kids on steroids, offend the sensibilities of average Indian citizens”, said Mr. Sibal, justifying this extreme measure.
“We have asked the Prasar Bharati, and NIC, to stop broadcasting any of
the parliamentary sessions, after they refused to sanitize the content as it was streaming, but they did not co-operate with us”, said visibly angry Sibal.
“For months, we have tried to work with them to come up with an effective mechanism to sanitize the content being shown on prime-time television, but these bodies haven’t come up with any workable solutions. Finally, we decided to take this extreme measure”
Sibal denied the rumors that Government is taking this action because it wants the debates about Lokpal and such contentious issues in future to happen outside of public eye.
“There are so many shameful things happening in the sessions, that the last thing we worry about is the actual debates”
When a reporter asked, “But can’t the public be provided with sanitized footage, in a delayed-live fashion?”
“Have you looked at a Parliamentary session?”, Sibal asked the reporter.
“That is the problem with you guys. You don’t even watch those sessions and talk about sensibilities. The members of parliament work in most offensive office conditions prevalent anywhere in the world, except, maybe, for live combat. We had hoped that after people look at the plight of the members of parliament, they will be more favorable to revision of compensation for the members. But media has put a completely different spin on it”
“They’re boring”, sneered a young journalist.
“Then I have nothing more to say”, said a miffed Sibal.
Prasar Bharati spokesman was not available for comment. However our source there, on condition of anonymity, revealed that TRPs for the parliamentary sessions have been really low, what with people never knowing when a debate will actually happen. It’s a waste of TV time, was his assessment. “Besides, if we sanitize the feed, we will pretty much have to show empty benches all the time. And that is indistinguishable from what happens most of the times anyways”
On social media, however, the reactions have been pouring in.
“Good riddance”, said a Mumbai based blogger on her twitter stream.
“Watching a parliamentary session for fighting is like watching an art film for raunchy scenes. First, you have to wait for years for the cast to assemble, and then the fighting is so lame. It’s high time we pushed these old hags out of parliament. We need some young blood. At least the fights will be worth watching”, said another youth on his Facebook page, his sentiments validated by two thousand likes.