Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s issued an advisory to channels against children dancing to vulgar songs and objectionable steps. The Government asked them to “desist from showing children in a vulgar, indecent, suggestive and inappropriate manner on dance reality shows”. The advisory also stated, “The gestures, dialogues and dance moves performed by the kids appear to be suggestive and obscene for their age.”

An official from the I&B Ministry told Bombay Times, “We have already sent the advisory to all the private TV channels. We had to take this step because we had received a number of complaints regarding kids’ performances in dance reality shows. It’s a general advisory and we have not gone into specific instructions. We want the channels to ensure that the performances are decent.”

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This action was also adhered by the ministry keeping in mind the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 and suggests that no program must be carried on cable television which degenerates children in any form and manner.

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A BCCC official says, “We issued an advisory titled ‘Sexualisation of Children in TV Shows’ in 2012. We asked channels to stop kids from imitating gestures that appeared to be vulgar or sexual. Performances on songs like ‘ Chikni Chameli’ and ‘ Kanta Laga’ drew a lot of criticism, following which the advisory was issued. We get a lot of complaints on this issue, but the number of complaints has reduced over the years.”

Supporting the advisory, choreographers like Remo D Souza, Terence Lewis, Ashley Lobo and film director Anurag Basu have shared their opinions on the same.

Anurag Basu, a judge on Super Dancer 3, told TOI, “I don’t know whether any episode of our show has triggered the I&B ministry to issue such an advisory, but I’m glad that they did. I welcome it. However, I’m not sure how this will be implemented because this issue is quite subjective. As judges, we often face this dilemma of how to judge a kid whose performance appeared to be obscene. Even during the auditions, I told so many kids not to imitate adults’ expressions and moves. I don’t know if those were aired or not, but I have been saying this to a number of contestants. In fact, a few episodes ago, I said that I’d never want my daughter to perform like this on stage. And what’s not okay for my kids, how can I allow it for other kids? The question is, where do we draw the line? There is a very thin line between looking cute and looking vulgar in such performances. We shouldn’t let kids imitate expressions and moves of adults. Basically, it’s a collective conscience call.”

Remo D’Souza said, “In my entire career, even when I was a judge on multiple dance reality shows, I always maintained that children should not be encouraged to dance like adults. It is important to protect them especially when they are growing up because everything can’t be inspired by filmi movements.”

This is certainly a welcome step to regulate the content where kids can lose their innocence in a glamorous world full of expectations and competition.

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