The ticker asking viewers to complain about content-related issues to the BCCC (Broadcasting Content Complaints Council) has made lives easier for those who wish to voice their concerns about offensive content. But, on the other hand, it has also given a license to some viewers, who are unable to differentiate between fiction and reality, to take that ticker a bit too seriously.
From complaints regarding the amount of medication taken by a show’s protagonist, to the name of a character in the show, some viewers will take offense to just about anything! This also reflects in the number of complaints the TV ombudsman gets in a year. According to the BCCC website, from April 16 to September 8, out of 3,852 complaints, 1,029 were not related to content. We bring you some of the oddest complaints that the Council has received and disposed with after they found no merit in them.
Why this twist in the show?
Many complaints received in this category relate to exaggerations in storylines – twists and turns that viewers didn’t like. Also, there is no dearth of suggestions from the audiences to the producers. In fact, the viewers also use the Council to vent their anger at the DTH (direct-to-home) operator, because that the reason they missed the repeat telecast of their favourite show. They also then request the channel to repeat a particular show at a time convenient to them.
Why can’t the actor’s name be something else?
Diya Aur Baati Hum (DABH): One of the viewers got offended because of the name of one of the IPS cadets in the show. In his complaint he alleged that one of the episodes of the show had ‘communal overtones since Zakir, one of the IPS cadets, was shown as a schemer and manipulator against his colleagues and the name of the culprit could have been Vishwanath or William! This exposes the communal mindset of the serial makers’.
Why didn’t the lead actress take the correct dose of medicine?
Diya Aur Baati Hum: Okay, so some of us may be guilty of going a little overboard while taking medicines so that we get better quickly. However, when this was shown in a soap, it irked a viewer. In one of the episodes of DABH, the character of Sandhya Rathi was shown taking medications every hour, throughout the night, instead of going by the doctor’s prescription. She was also shown getting better by not following the prescription. The saddened viewer found this “misguiding and a misrepresentation of facts”.
The content is unrealistic
We all know that every TV show comes with a disclaimer saying the incidents portrayed are fictitious and have no relation to any person dead or living, but it seems that in their zest to note minute details, viewers forget to read the disclaimer. Apart from the 1,029 complaints, 469 miscellaneous complaints received between April and September were about unethical editing, unrealistic content or childish poetry in TV shows.
Why were the actors drinking alcohol?
Nisha Aur Uske Cousins: A complaint received against the show stated that one of the scenes showed liquor distribution. The complainant had a grouse that since the serial is based on a family from the Jain community, such practices cannot be shown and religious sentiments were hurt. He advised the directors to first study a religion’s culture before making programmes about them. However, the Council stated that the makers have the liberty to showcase what they want, as they are fictional characters.
Shastri Sisters: Another viewer was upset when he saw that Mr Sareen, who happens to be the head of the family in the show, was drinking liquor and was also asking his friend to try some. He stated that since it was a family show, they should not be showing the family head drinking.
Offending the North-Eastern community, really?
The KBC promo, which had Amitabh Bachchan asking a North-eastern girl the question ‘Kohima is a part of which country?’, irked a senior government official to the extent that he went to the council, asking them to order the channel to discontinue the promo since it was in bad taste. But on the contrary, the Council appreciated the promo and said that it highlighted the issue of alienation of the North-Eastern community.
Why this song?
Ye Hai Mohabbatein: Another person had a problem when he saw the child actor Ruhanika Dhawan, whose on-screen name is Ruhi, dancing to Radha from Student Of The Year, as he felt that this would affect the minds of children (who have obviously not heard and seen the song and other similar songs).