Khalsa Television Ltd surrendered its broadcast license in the UK earlier this week on 21 June following an investigation by the country’s media regulator, Khalsa Television (KTV). Violation Broadcast Rules With Khalistani propaganda. The channel, which has also faced heavy fines for violating broadcasting rules in the past, has been closed in the UK since March 31. What is the reason for canceling its license?
What is Khalsa TV?
Khalsa TV or KTV is a television channel that broadcasts extensively to the Sikh community in the United Kingdom under license from Khalsa Television Limited. Its tagline is ‘nidar, nidharak, hak ate sach di awaaz (Fearless, determined, voice of his rights and truth)’. It claims to be broadcast in 136 countries.
KTV was officially launched in the UK on 22 January 2017 with a ceremony at the Guru Nanak Gurudwara in Birmingham.
“Our brand new purpose built facilities will bring you new programs, concepts and personalities for the Punjabi community,” reads the card.
On its website, Khalsa TV, aka KTV Global, describes itself as the UK’s newest and most exciting Punjabi channel that caters to the Sikh diaspora and offers audiences of all ages and backgrounds a wide range of cultural, religious and cultural backgrounds. , broadcasts a range of educational and recreational programmes.
The channel claims, “We aim to provide only the best in programming using the latest broadcast technology from our purpose-built studio setting in West Bromwich.”
It also says that it actively supports the NHS and local charities in the UK, apart from Pingalwara in India.
Why did Khalsa Television Limited, the licensee of KTV, surrender its license to broadcast in the UK?
Khalsa Television Limited surrendered its license to broadcast in the UK on 21 June after an investigation by the country’s media watchdog, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), found that KTV had used a program called Prime Time by incendiary and separatists. Broadcasting the publicity had violated the broadcasting rules. , which was beamed on December 30 last year. Ofcom’s investigation found that the show “promotes violence, including murder, as an acceptable and necessary action to advance the Khalistani cause”.
Ofcom raised a red flag earlier this year after three complaints about prime time, a 95-minute live discussion on December 30. The complainants alleged that the program’s presenter Jagjit Singh Jeeta – a social media post describing him as the channel’s CEO – made several statements which, when read together, led to violence against Khalistan.
Ofcom in its report stated, “Presenter Jagjit Singh Jeeta began the program with a monologue about the progress of the Sikh separatist cause towards the creation of an independent state of Khalistan since Operation Bluestar in 1984, during which he set He is of the view that the current leadership of the Sikh community lacks the courage or drive to take the necessary action to achieve this goal.”
The regulator mentioned how time and again, he ridiculed “Khalistanis” living abroad for not doing anything and encouraged them to walk with Punjab to achieve their goal.
Ofcom sent its “open view” notice to the channel in February. The latter objected to its translation and analysis of the programme. KTV claimed that the program did not contain any inflammatory statements, and provided an example of how the words used by the presenter may have been misunderstood. But Ofcom said that KTV could not prove its point.
KTV went off air on March 31, when Ofcom license suspended Organized by Khalsa Television Limited.
Ofcom sent a draft cancellation notice to the channel on May 26, following which it surrendered its license on June 21.
Is this the first time that the British media regulator has taken action against KTV?
This is not the first time that KTV is violating Ofcom’s rules. This is the third time in four years that programs broadcast by the channel have violated norms for inciting violence, an Ofcom statement said.
In February last year, the regulator fined KTV £50,000 for airing hateful content and a discussion program that called on British Sikhs to commit violence and included a terrorist reference.
An Ofcom statement said the music video aired by the channel showed a man wearing a hoodie with two AK-47 rifles and an inscription that read: “Goli se peace will come”. It contained slogans glorifying Khalistan and inscriptions promising a bloody fight for it. One picture depicts the assassination of General Vaidya, while a caricature of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is captioned as a “wicked woman”. Ofcom objected to the “story of videos advocating violent action against the Indian state”.
KTV was also fined £30,000 in 2019 for broadcasting a discussion in which participants threatened a Sikh radio presenter based in New Zealand. Ofcom also found that the program had the potential to “legalize the objectives and actions of a banned terrorist organization”.