BBS TV among hate channels, 'an incompetent report': Ambassador Pavan K. Varma

Red-flagged-ChannelsBBS Television has been apparently red flagged as one among the ‘hate channels’ in India by the Indian government.

According to India media reports, the decision came after an alert issued by the Indian Intelligence Bureau. The Bureau put on notice 24 foreign channels including the BBS as broadcasting anti-India TV shows, said to be one of the causes of communal discord in India.

Responding to the report, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) Secretary, Dasho Kinley Dorji said, branding BBS TV as inflammatory and anti-India is stupid. “I don’t believe that government of India would classify BBS as anti-India channel, and if there is a report saying that then I think, it is a stupid report something that people would laugh at. If it is an intelligence report, to me it is very unintelligent report” said the Secretary of MoIC.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Pavan K. Varma, said the report by the Intelligence Bureau on BBS TV as hate channel was incompetent and shameful. He said “I believe it is a result of clerical mistake. There is no way. Either you say that the Intelligence Bureau of India has intelligence which is completely below par or you discredit the story. I would choose to do the latter”.

The media report also said most of the hate channels focus on news or religious affairs. It has also said that BBS TV is illegally down-linked and freely available to viewers in north-eastern states and in areas bordering Nepal. Dasho Kinley Dorji said illegal down-linking is a complex technology issue that requires an effective answer to deal with.

The Secretary of the MoIC said the BBS has signed an agreement with an organization to downlink BBS in India so that it can be up-linked again to broadcast to all remote parts of Bhutan through DTH. He said the process is under discussion with the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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