Jaiveer Shergill, Congress spokesperson, on Thursday, August 13, urged the Information and Broadcast Ministry to take initiatives to reinstate "civility" in the debates hosted on television. He also pitched for issuance of an advisory to enforce a code of conduct by news channels.
Shergill wrote a letter to I&B minister Prakash Javadekar. In the letter, he mentioned the imperative to restore "civility" through a code of conduct aiming to "tame the slanderous beast" that television debates are.
The toxicity of the debates affects the mental and physical well being of all individuals. "Constant interruptions coupled with toxic and defamatory smears impact the mental and physical well-being of all individuals on the panel," he mentioned in the letter.
"The brazen violation of NBA (News Broadcasters Association) guidelines and code need honest reflection and course correction," he tweeted. The letter comes after the death of Rajiv Tyagi, Congress leader and spokesperson. Tyagi, 52, died of a heart attack.
Shergill tweeted, "My letter to I&B Minister Shri Prakash Javdekar Ji requesting him to issue an advisory to the media to enforce a Code of Conduct to curb slanderous, sensationalist and toxic TV debates." He added the letter in the tweet.
In the letter, he said "issuing an advisory to the media houses to follow News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) guidelines to ensure mere civility is a must and shall serve as an appropriate tribute to Tyagi."
Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader, said, "the issue raised by Shergill requires serious consideration, with due regard to freedom of expression and Article 19 provisions, as well as existing conduct guidelines.
"Since the subject is currently under discussion in the parliamentary committee, I will seek a report from the Ministry," Tharoor added.