Indian TV stations face action over pole-dancing Mahatma Gandhi clip
Friday, January 12th, 2007
Two Indian TV channels were facing government action today after they reportedly aired a video clip depicting a man dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi performing a pole dance. India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the clip, apparently pulled from a video sharing website, was in “bad taste” and called on the two private channels to apologise to the entire country.

Gandhi is widely revered in India and abroad as the father of the anti-colonial struggle and as a champion of non-violence. He was assassinated in 1948, a year after India won independence from Britain. ”Based on a website document, an attempt was made to denigrate the honour of the father of the nation which has been in bad taste, and this was copied by two private TV channels in India,” Information Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told the Press Trust of India.

Dasmunsi said “both the private channels should express their profound apology to the nation for sponsoring such a ridiculous and humiliating feature of the website to assault the mind of the Indian people.” The PTI report did not mention the names of the TV stations, but media sources have identified the channels as Hindi-language news stations IBN-7 and Sahara Samay Rashtriya.

The two-minute clip reportedly shows a man dressed in dhoti - the simple cotton loin cloth worn by Gandhi - and dancing around a pole with a dagger and making obscene gestures. The clip was reportedly filmed by a New York-based non-resident Indian and posted on a po****r video-sharing Internet site.

(Source: AFP)