Channel runs only flickering lamp during slot in which controversial film was to have been aired.
Replicating a strategy adopted by newspapers protesting press censorship during the Emergency, the NDTV 24X7 news channel on Sunday evening ran a black screen featuring only a flickering diya to express its dismay at the government’s decision to halt the broadcast of the controversial documentary, India’s Daughter.
The silent screen ran for an hour from 9pm, the slot during which the documentary about the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape was to have been telecast. On Wednesday, the government decided to the halt the telecast, claiming that the filmmaker had not obtained the proper clearances to interview one of the perpetrators of the rape, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. The government also contended that film would hurt India’s image.
NDTV’s gesture echoed the blank columns run in The Statesman and The Indian Express when its articles were censored during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency in 1975.
The TV channel’s move drew mixed reactions from social media users.
Some prominent commentators approved of the gesture.