US entertainment channel Comedy Central has been suspended in India for six days as it violated the country's Cable Television Networks rules.
The Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that Comedy Central has been broadcasting programmes that are obscene and vulgar, depicting women as "commodity of sex". The ban, which came into effect from midnight on Tuesday, specifically points at two shows, "Stand Up Club" and "Popcorn", the content of which appeared to "deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and morals", according to the Delhi Court order.
In 2013, India's information and broadcasting ministry had called for a 10-day ban on Comedy Central, saying "Stand Up Club' contained "obscene dialogues and vulgar words derogatory to women and hence appeared to offend good taste and decency" and that the reality show "Popcorn" mimicked the act of sex with a set of dummy legs.
While the High Court, in its order, defends the suspension by pointing out that the regulation was necessary as the mushrooming of cable channels in India "was perceived in many quarters as a cultural invasion" and the programmes available on satellite channels were "predominantly western and totally alien to the Indian culture and way of life", most viewers are unhappy with it.
Loving the government approved show line up on Comedy Central. pic.twitter.com/d1Ye1W1S2f
— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) November 25, 2014
Abhay Keshava Bhat, for example, is tired of the Indian hypocrisy: "We're okay with people getting raped, kids getting abused on a daily basis, but harmless humour? Of course not. #comedycentral". So is The Bad Doctor who suggests, "Maybe we should also paint clothes on those sculptures at Khajuraho"
Some Twitter users were quick to point at the current government for rising "moral standards" as well. "Artistic Liberty BJP way?" asks MufflerMan Chronicle, as Abhijit Mehta declares, Welcome to Modi's India, where hour is banned".
Taking a sarcastic stance, Overrated Outcast asks, "Oh, Delhi High Court, you say "deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and morals" like it's a bad thing?"
Dilip D'Souza is quick to point that "I am terminally wary of such phrases as the collective cry of the society... Among other things, it's not my cry."
Meanwhile, Varun Agarwal points out that "If you ban Colors, Star Plus and Sony for 10 days India's collective IQ will increase by 20%", and comedian Rohan reassures that "It's okay, we can just call this country Comedy Central India and everything still makes sense."