Religion, as the great George Carlin said, is big business and the recent media explosion has seen a flurry of “religious” TV channels take to the air, broadcasting pravachans, prayers, congregations, faith messages, feel-good speeches, question and answer sessions, etc, in the name of the good lord, Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Sikh.
But there is bad news for the “pray” channels in the secular republic.
The telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI), in a recommendation to the Centre, has suggested that religious bodies should be barred from owning television stations or having any role in distributing them. News reports quote TRAI as saying that where permission has been given, they should be phased out slowly: “Such a rule would be in tune with the secular nature of our constitution.”
In a nation where faith is such an integral part of every citizen’s life, is what we watch any business of the State? Is it a needless intrusion in our lives? Or given the incendiary revivalism, which has spread so much poison in our society, is it the correct interpretation of the law?
Also read: ‘There is no god, none, not one, never was’