Swaraj favours more teeth for Press Council

NEW DELHI: India's Information and Broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj today said that the government would consider providing more powers to the Press Council of India, including the penal powers which the Council wants in order to enforce its decisions on offenders.

She said the government is also considering setting up an independent Broadcasting Regulatory Authority for the electronic media to check the onslaught on our culture, traditions and other undesirable telecasts. She invited suggestions from women's organisations in this regard so that the government could take an overall view before arriving at a decision.

Inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the All India Women's Conference here today, Swaraj regretted that a large number of serials, telecast mostly on private electronic channels, portray women in a very derogatory manner as if women are always conspiring, quarrelling on small issues and indulging in intrigues. 

She said advertisements both in print and electronic media show semi-nude pictures of women, treating woman as a commodity to boost the sales of different products. Films too show women as either submissive and meek or only as objects of pleasure. The struggling and successful aspects of women are not projected to inspire others, Swaraj regretted.

She also inaugurated a seminar on "Women and Media" and released a First Day Special Cover issued by the Postal Department on the Platinum Jubilee of AIWC. Prominent mediapersons who participated in the seminar included journalist Usha Rai, and TV personalities Rajdeep Sardesai, Prabhat Dabral and Deepak Chaurasia.

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