India to toughen TV ‘Indecency Law’

India is to include TV channels into its existing ‘Indecent Representation of Women Act’ and to widen scope of the 1986 legislation to cover both satellite TV and even Internet activity. There have been examples of India’s censor getting involved in some TV programming, especially when movies are shown, and this has led to a widespread debate in India over what is “indecent”.

The new amendments, which have severe penalties, are intended to protect women, and to preserve dignity and good taste. “The existing Act covers print media in its present form however over the years [the] technological revolution has resulted in the development of newer forms of mediums such as internet and satellite based communication, multi-media messaging, and cable television among others,” the government said in a statement.

“It has, therefore, become imperative to widen the scope of the law so as to cover such forms of media, on one hand, and to strengthen the existing safeguards to prevent indecent representation of women through any such form,” it added.

Fines, and penalties to include potential imprisonment, can be applied in addition to seizure.

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