The Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued notices to actor Amitabh Bachchan and Sony Entertainment Television on a petition filed against a promotional advertisement for the quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati, stating it insulted a slogan given by freedom fighter Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The public interest litigation petition, filed by Mukkesh Sharma in 2010, says the promo of KBC-4 broadcast during August-September that year appeared to malign Bose's slogan Tum muzhe khoon do, mein tumhe azadi doonga [Give me your blood and I will give you freedom]. The court directed the actor, the host of the show, and Sony TV to respond by July 28.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice G.S. Godbole directed Mr. Sharma to amend the petition to include the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Advertising Standards Council of India also as respondents.
The court said this after the Central Board of Film Certification said they were authorised to give permission for running the promo in theatres and not on TV. Counsel for the board said the central body found the promo funny and not derogatory.
But the PIL said: “For the purpose of escalating the TRP of the reality show, the Central Board of Film Certification and Sony Entertainment Television have advertently and purportedly insulted the slogan given by Netaji.”
Mr. Sharma said five of the six promos appeared “insulting, defamatory, mischievous and maligning.”
“The scenes have depicted that several people are unaware of the fact [that the slogan was given to gain freedom for our country].” In addition, it was depicted that there were several Indians who ignored the contribution made by Netaji to the nation.
Giving the reason for making Mr. Bachchan a respondent, Mr. Sharma said he was “shocked and surprised” that the legendary artist didn't excuse himself from acting in the promo.
He said historic slogans given by freedom fighters should be respected as much as the national anthem.