Radio Mirchi posted an apology on the micro blogging website Twitter.
New Delhi: FM radio station Radio Mirchi, which is owned by the Times of India group, has displeased the Smriti Irani-led Union information and broadcasting ministry for airing a campaign titled #MatAaoIndia (Don’t Come to India), telling foreign tourists to stay away from the country.
Radio Mirchi aired the campaign after the attack on Swiss tourists in Fatehpur Sikri last week.
The campaign, which was in Hindi, went:
See the sea at Goa, and the tourists being harassed,
See your Russian guest, and her molestation too,
See the splendour of Fatehpur, and the couples being troubled there,
See the respect we have for love, see the splendour of new India
See the morality of death, see the way we insult guests
Coming to India is injurious to health
Guests are not gods. Do not come to India.
The campaign was taken down after a flood of criticism on social media; some users branded the radio station ‘anti-national’ — the new buzzword — and advised followers to “unfollow” the station on Facebook and Twitter.
The tone of the Radio Mirchi #MatAaoIndia ca-mpaign was in sharp contrast to the previous campaign in which Aamir Khan urged better treatment of foreign tourists.
The Union information and broadcasting ministry said the campaign violated the All-India Radio programme and advertisement code and was “discouraging foreign tourists from visiting India through their broadcast.”
The notice was served on October 27 and the FM station has been given 15 days to respond as to why it should not be penalised.
“It was brought to the ministry’s notice that the radio channel was discouraging foreign tou-rists from visiting India through their broadcast,” the notice said.
“The content in question is defamatory and violated the AIR (All-India Radio) code,” it said.
Radio Mirchi has also been sent a verbatim transcript of the campaign, sources added.
Radio Mirchi has been asked to furnish its reply within 15 days of receiving the notice, failing which the ministry would be constrained to initiate action, sources stated. Radio Mirchi posted an apology on the micro blogging website Twitter.
“Radio Mirchi apologises for the creative it ran about the tourist incident. Our intention was not to hurt the sentiments of people. We are deeply sorry. We have removed the creative,” the apology stated.