Monday, December 27, 2010




By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: The Centre is in a tizzy over an imminent release of the 5-member Justice (retd) B N Srikrishna committee report on carving a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, three days ahead of the promised submission to the Home Ministry on December 31 at 5 PM.  Centre on Monday issued strict warnings to 48 Telugu News Channels and 4800 cable operators in Andhra  Pradesh to obey the Cable Operators Act 1995, 
National Broadcasting Association has come out with 20 points dos and don'ts  while telecasting sensitive issues on Srikrishna Committee report.

GK Pillai Union Home Secretary held a high level meeting to review the post submission of Telangana report to Government.

Raghu Menon Information Broadcasting Secretary was in constant touch with Government of Andhra Pradesh. To issue instructions about the Telugu TV newschannels.

Speculation became rife here on Monday about the report's release as the 69-year old former Supreme Court judge Srikrishna sought an appointment of the committee with Home Minister P Chidambaram at noon on Tuesday and convened a Press conference later at 4.30 PM to interact with the national media in the Ambedkar Hall of Andhra Bhawan, the state government guest house here.

Messages went out to the Media that the full bench of the Srikrishna Committee, which includes Prof. Ranbir Singh, Dr Abusaleh Shariff, Ms Ravinder Kaur and member-secretary Vinod K Duggal, a former home secretary, would like an interaction with the media

The government is totally non-plus, unable to find out what Justice Srikrishna wants to do by meeting the Press as it may trigger an immediate law and order problem in Andhra Pradesh even if he does not release the report on Tuesday but responds to tricky questions, particularly when Andhra Pradesh is already on the boil over past one week in expectation of the committee report.

Discreet inquiries were made with Duggal by the government on Monday, but he played ignorance on what Justice Srikrishna intends to do on Tuesday, except that he was directed to fix up a meeting with Chidambaram at 12 noon and with the press at 4.30 pm. Only two weeks ago, he had informed the Home Ministry on behalf of the chairman that the final report will be submitted on Friday at 5 PM.

"All security arrangements we have planned come into operation only on December 31, the day the report is to be received by the Centre from the committee constituted early this year. These will go fut if the report or any indication about the report is out on Tuesday," a top Home Ministry official rued, pointing out that the timing earlier agreed for submission of the report would have ensured no trouble at least for two days as it comes at close of offices at 5 pm and then there are two holidays falling on January 1 and 2.

Only last week, Home Secretary G K Pillai had chaired a high-level meeting of six secretaries to Government of India and the Railway Board Chairman to chalk out measures for handling the possible law and order fallout of the committee findings as there may be strikes, bandhs and even violence. The Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh were also present at the meeting.

Sources said the Information and Broadcasting Secretary was specially called to the meeting to decide how to ensure the electronic media does not play up the report and speculates on it, triggering trouble in Andhra Pradesh, as the government wants to handle the media reporting on the same footings on which the Ayodhya judgement was tackled without any violence anywhere.

The state government has been told to make use of the Cable Operators Act of 1995 to cancel licences of the operators who telecast the Telangana committee report sensationally and seal their communication headquarters. There are over 5000 cable operators in Andhra Pradesh. Besides 48 Telugu channels, there are many entertainment channels that will be kept under close scrutiny as they usually telecast public meetings and news that are not allowed under the law. The district magistrates must act against them, the state government has been told.


December 27, 2010


All Editors of NBA
Re: Srikrishna Committee Report

As all of you are aware the Union Government has appointed Mr Justice B N Srikrishna
Committee, which among other things, is to examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh arising out of the demand for a separate State of Telangana.

It is reported that the Committee is to submit its Report on December 31, 2010.

It is imperative that the dissemination of the Report by the electronic media of this sensitive
matter is done with extra care.

It is necessary to ensure that the telecast of any news relating to it should not be sensational, inflammatory or provocative. The basic guideline to be adhered to is that all news relating to this subject should conform strictly to subserving the public interest of maintaining parochial and communal harmony, of eschewing any divisive or fissiparous tendencies and of preserving the secular ethos of our plural society.
It should be remembered that the information disseminated by the media influences the
formation of the public opinion.
Accordingly, the telecast of the Srikrishna Committee Report requires adherence to the Code
of ethics and the Specific Guidelines issued from time to time in addition to the following
Specific Guidelines in this behalf and should also ensure that no occasion arises for any
speculation about the accuracy of the content.
Some additional specific guidelines to be observed in relation to the telecast of this matter are
as follows:
All news relating to the Srikrishna Committee Report should strictly adhere to the
contents of the Report, uninfluenced by any opinion, inference or interpretation.
No broadcast(s) should be made of any speculation about the Report before it is made
fully available by the Government; and of its likely repercussions thereafter which
may be sensational, inflammatory or provocative.
No footage of violence, agitation, self-immolation etc., if any, is to be shown in any
news item relating to the subject matter of the Report.
No visuals should be shown depicting celebration or protest in relation to the Report.
Unnecessary repetition of sensitive visuals should be avoided.
Archival footage should clearly be labeled “file” and preferably also state date and
time of initial broadcast.
In view of the sensitivity of news reporting on this issue extra care should be taken to
ensure accuracy and balance of reportage, by vetting and clearance at the highest
editorial level.
It is emphasized that programmes telecast in relation to this subject should not
speculate about and should not have contentious debate on its contents.
Correspondence Address:
Registered Office:
ME-5, Sah Vikas Apartments 68, Patparganj, Delhi – 110092
M: 9810025212 Telefax: 22231872 Email: Website:
101-103 Paramount Tower, C-17 Community Center, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 110058
It is expected that every channel will strictly adhere to this Advisory and give no occasion for
the NBSA to examine any allegation of violations by the Member channels.
This occasion is a challenge, as well as an opportunity, for Member channels to prove the
efficacy of their self-regulatory mechanism. It is hoped that the opportunity would not be
All Broadcasters are advised to preserve all the programmes telecast in relation to the
Srikrishna Report, including scripts for examination, should it become necessary.
It is expected that strict adherence to these guidelines would be ensured by all the Editors to
avoid any violation which may invite strict action.
Annie Joseph
Secretary General, NBA
Members & Legal Heads of NBA
Correspondence Address:
Registered Office:
ME-5, Sah Vikas Apartments 68, Patparganj, Delhi – 110092
M: 9810025212 Telefax: 22231872 Email: Website:
101-103 Paramount Tower, C-17 Community Center, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 110058

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