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Smoke screen blocks Narain on DD
June 27, 2005 20:34 IST
You may see him zipping away to glory on the Formula One circuit on private sports channels but Indian racing hero Narain Karthikeyan may never figure on our very own Doordarshan channels, thanks to the government's obsessive adherence to ban anything related to tobacco on television screens.
Despite being given the mandate to telecast anything of national interest, the public broadcaster could not show Karthikeyan racing on F1 tracks as the Health Ministry struck the proposal down because cigarette company Marlboro figured on hoardings on the kerbs of the track as well as on some of the racing cars. "Prasar Bharati was offered millions of dollars by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to telecast the event on Doordarshan, more so on DD I, but the proposal could not see the light of day as the Health Ministry struck it down," the public broadcaster's CEO, K S Sarma, said.
"The F1 boss said 'Sky is the Limit' and we were optimistic that his proposal should be cleared. But the Health Ministry refused," he said, adding that they had sent the offer around September last year.
The refusal comes even as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which has banned smoking scenes in films and television serials from October 2, clarified that live telecasts of any event have been left outside the ambit.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage