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Afghan govt bans 'un-Islamic' Indian serials
April 05, 2008 14:30 IST
Last Updated: April 05, 2008 15:31 IST
The Afghanistan government has ordered private TV stations in the war-ravaged country to stop broadcasting popular Indian soap operas by April 15, a move that apparently reflected the growing influence of hardliners who criticised the serials as being 'un-Islamic'.
A spokesman for Afghanistan's Culture and Information Ministry said the decision followed a meeting with Parliamentarians and clerics. He said there were numerous complaints about the shows, BBC News reported.
There are six Indian soap operas running in Afghanistan, providing vital revenue for TV stations, but they have been criticised for being un-Islamic by hardliners in the country.
Several private Afghan TV channels, including Tolo, Ariana and Shamshad, broadcast the Indian soap operas dubbed in Pashto and Persian.
The first Indian serial to be aired in Afghanistan was the hit soap opera Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, which was launched by Tolo channel in 2005. Among other Indian soaps aired in Afghanistan are Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kasauti Zindagi Ki.
Afghan Information and Culture Minister Abdul Karim Khurram has said that action will be taken against TV channels that do not stop airing the Indian serials by April 15.
Afghanistan's Parliament recently passed a resolution seeking to bar TV programmes from showing dancing and other practices that are un-Islamic.
The Afghan government's move came days after Tolo channel showed men and women dancing together at a movie awards ceremony.
The Afghan channels often blur images of statues of Hindu gods in the Indian serials and even the uncovered necks and shoulders of actresses.
Afghan clerics have also objected to a pop music programme titled Hop and Afghan Star, the local version of American Idol. Hardline clerics have alleged that beaming of the soap operas was part of a 'conspiracy by infidels' to convert Afghans to Hinduism and told the government to act against TV channels airing Indian serials.