Bengaluru: Karnataka government is planning to table a revised anti-superstition legislation that places restrictions on airing astrology shows on Kannada TV channels.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah announced that the government is mulling over a ban on TV astrology shows in a bid to tackle superstition. “Every TV channel wants to air astrology-based shows in Karnataka. There seem to be many viewers for them. In my home too, the scenario is no different. It’s time we banned such shows,” Siddaramaiah said at an event to felicitate a senior dalit leader here on Monday.
Sources said the revised draft of the Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill, 2015 is ready and it’s expected to be placed before the cabinet soon. “It has been kept pending due to the local bodies elections,” they added Various social activists have been pressuring Siddaramaiah to get the proposed bill passed at the earliest.
Though the Congress government had proposed a ban on such shows twice earlier since 2013, it was shot down due to pressure from different corners.
Siddaramaiah’s announcement drew instant flak from some leading TV channels, which reportedly enjoy high revenue from astrology shows. Most of the astrology shows are paid program slots, which are aired during the non-prime time bands such as early mornings, afternoons and late nights. Many channels consider this as an additional revenues apart from the main stream revenues from subscription and ad sales.
The approximate revenue from a 30 mins time slot being sold for promoting such kind of unsolicited programs fetch somewhere between Rs 30,000 to 1,00,000/- to the Broadcaster. In few astrology programs the Astrologer who reveals the predictions were also being charged, as they become popular by appearing in TV which will increase their market and credibility value.
Those who buy slots to air such astrological content are also promising innocent people with magical remedies and reliefs. People also believe such promises and waste their money by betting on such misleading information. This is an unregulated chain of money flow that needs the governments attention across India.
Some channels that are against the Ban ran extended shows on Tuesday seeking reactions from opposition leaders to register their protest.
This gray area with in the broadcast business has expanded to other sectors such Real Estate, De-addictions, Magical Remedies, Siddha and Ayurveda Medicines etc…