Ball in GoI’s court  

Ball in GoI’s court  
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The state home department imposing a ban on the selected TV channels in Kashmir has evoked sharp reactions from the different sections of the society.
Recently the home department had asked district magistrates to take legal action in case they notice certain TV channels, which are not permitted by the ministry of information and broadcasting, are being transmitted.  The home department had said the list of permitted TV channels is available on the website of the ministry of information and broadcasting.
Everyone is asking one question how can TV channels be a threat to security and why are people being stopped from watching what they want.
The J&K government has issued a clarification that permitting TV channels is outside its purview. “The powers to permit or not permit telecast of any TV channel are vested with the Union ministry of information and broadcasting and not with the state government,” a spokesman of the state’s home department said.
The state government has put the ball in the court of the Government of India. Now the GoI has to take a call over the issue. People sitting in New Delhi need to define what it means by promoting “illegal activity.”  The government has said that any TV channel operating within the ambit of the law should approach the information ministry to obtain the necessary permission.
The channels which have been banned are satellite channels, which operate from different countries. Had the government asked the local cable operators to seek the necessary permission they could have approached the authorities for the same. These operators have not been left with any other option but to ensure that these channels are not aired. In the process they may also lose subscribers.
At present it seems that decision to ban a few selected TV channels is final and it’s there to stay. It’s not for the first time that TV channels have been banned in Kashmir.  It has happened in the past also.