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Ad show axe on AXN

New Delhi/Mumbai, Jan. 17: When the government is not monitoring racism in Big Brother House, it is playing the moral policeman at home — the television channel AXN was banned today for obscenity.

I&B minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi announced the ban at a news conference.

AXN styles itself as an “action channel” and carries programmes like the Fear Factor and the Amazing Race. But the ministry has taken offence to programmes like the World’s Sexiest Commercials — a collection of suggestive advertisements — which, it says, “are against good taste or decency and are likely to affect public morality”.

The ban, which comes into effect immediately, will be in force till March 15.

“I am very shocked. It’s very upsetting news. All our channels are very respectful, and I don’t know where this came from,” said Sundar Aaron, AXN’s Asia Head.

The entertainment industry reacted sharply, with ad-filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar calling the ban “ridiculous” and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt saying “every government of the day wants to be seen to be taking care of the ‘depravity’ that exists in the media”.

It was a charge Das Munshi didn’t seem to mind. Asked if the ban was not moral policing, he said the government should be moral.

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