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Judiciary

Delhi HC verbally refuses plea seeking a 24*7 broadcast channel for Sindhi language speakers, reserves order

By Shreya Agarwal      27 May, 2024 02:01 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today refused to grant relief on a plea against state-owned Prasar Bharati seeking a 24*7 dedicated broadcast channel, for Sindhi language speakers.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora said, “We are not inclined.”

The Court earlier refused to accept the petitioner’s (Sindhi Sangat) counsel Senior Advocate Indira Jaising’s arguments, stating, “I don't think what you're saying is correct. Don't think there is any obligation on the state to have a dedicated channel for every minority.”

Sr. Adv. Jaising had argued, “They've done it for every other language. There are 22 dedicated 24*7 channels for other languages.”

Urging that a separate dedicated channel would help sustain and even revive the Sindhi culture, Jaising contended that Sindhis contribute majorly to the society and economy.

Also Read -  Delhi HC refuses directions for pan India 24-hour Doordarshan channel for Sindhis [Read Order]

“I can give you famous names of Sindhis, not that I'm famous but I'm also a Sindhi. There are judges who are Sindhis. There is a growing demand for such a channel from Sindhis in Calcutta. Sindhi has rich literature, rich culture, rich language - some even say that Sindhi literature is better than Shakespeare! It is a world-heritage language,” she said.

The Court mentioned on a lighter note, “They are otherwise also 'rich'.” Jaising agreed.

She emphasized, “They are at the risk of losing their culture and the Petitioners have made it their life's purpose to revive this language. While my parents made it a point to pass down the language to me, today even my own nieces, nephews are unable to even speak the language.”

On the issue of the onus on the state-owned Prasar Bharati to preserve Indian languages, the senior counsel added, “Prasar Bharati is not just for circulating Bollywood news, many other private channels are already doing that.”

However, the Court was not inclined to grant the relief, it said, and reserved the matter for orders.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had refused to direct the Central Government and Doordarshan to start a 24-hour all-India channel for the Sindhi community, observing that it is not workable, being a purely governmental function.

“It is not workable for this Court to give directions to the respondents for opening of a new Doordarshan Channel for the Sindhi Community which is purely a governmental function,” the Court said.

Then, it was hearing a plea filed by one Asha Chand in 2015 for directions to the Union Government and Doordarshan for such a channel for the Sindhi community, stating that they are a linguistic minority.

It was pleaded that the channel would contribute to the promotion of the Sindhi language and culture.

Therefore, having heard the parties, Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said that there cannot be any two opinions that the Sindhi community has a right to preserve its own heritage and culture, however, Doordarshan is already telecasting various programmes for them.

It anyway added that Doordarshan was expected to make every possible effort and endeavour to open a new channel for the Sindhis in the future, as per policy and other guidelines.

Adv. Aaditya Gore represented the Petitioners in both the matters.

Cause Title: Sindhi Sangat v Union of India & Anr.



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