The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Dasam Granth Da Sach. During the programme the host made comments about a well-known female Sikh preacher, including that she should marry a Taksali (traditionally trained Sikh) rather than a Jāgaruka (enlightened Sikh), because she supports the ideology of the former, and because husbands ‘in our society’ resort to beating when offended by their wives. The host also used words that can carry sexual connotations but, in the specific context of the broadcast, were unlikely to do so. The Authority acknowledged the potentially offensive nature of the comments to some people, but found overall the potential harm arising was not at a level justifying regulatory intervention or restriction of the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on this occasion.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration, Violence, Privacy, Fairness
The Authority did not uphold a complaint that an episode of the talkback programme Dasam Granth Da Sach breached the accuracy standard. The host, while engaged in discussion with a caller, had made statements that the complainant alleged were unsubstantiated comments about a historical event that had the potential for disrupting harmony between the Sikh and the Hindu communities. The Authority found that the accuracy standard did not apply in this instance as the programme was not a news, current affairs or factual programme and the relevant statements were clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion, rather than statements of fact.
Not Upheld: Accuracy
The Authority upheld a complaint that a segment of Punjabi talkback programme, Dasam Granth Da Sach breached the good taste and decency, violence and law and order standards. During the segment, the host made threatening comments, directed at members of a Sikh sect in response to recent violent incidents in India. The Authority found the comments undermined widely shared community standards, considering their seriousness, specificity and other contextual factors. The Authority also found the comments actively incited violence and promoted disrespect for the law within the specific community of listeners. The Authority recognised the value of the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression but found the potential for harm justified a restriction of this right.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order
Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a broadcast of Punjabi talkback programme, Dasam Granth Da Sach, in which the hosts identified the complainant and broadcast audio clips of him speaking about various religious topics. While the complainant was clearly identified, the Authority found no private information or material was disclosed during the broadcast over which the complainant had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The information disclosed during the broadcast was available in the public domain, and in these circumstances, the Authority found that its intervention in upholding the complaint would represent an unreasonable and unjustified limit on the right to freedom of expression. The Authority noted, however, that there were steps available to the broadcaster to mitigate the potential for harm, particularly in its use of social media content, and encouraged the broadcaster to consider the Authority’s guidance on these issues before broadcasting such content in the future.
Not Upheld: Privacy