‘Could Create Disparity’. Child Commission Asks Doordarshan To Stop Telecast Of Kids’ Show Sheikh Chillii And Friendz
The commission took cognizance of a clip posted by a Twitter handle that created outrage for ‘derogatory’ portrayal of yoga guru and saints
On 19 December, the national child commission wrote to Doordarshan to stop the telecast of a children’s show as it “could evoke disparity in the society and among children”. The animated series, Sheikh Chilli and Friendz, premiered on Discovery Kids about four years ago, and has been telecast on Doordarshan repeatedly for a few months now.
In the letter addressed to Mayank Agrawal, Director General of Doordarshan, the commission’s chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said that he had taken cognizance of a viral social media post related to the series (Swarajya has a copy of the letter).
The post, uploaded by a Twitter handle named @GemsofBollywood, shows a Yoga teacher with clear Brahminical looks named “Guru Matunga Prasad” going to another Yoga teacher named “Guru Ghantaal”. Prasad calls him “Yoga ka Goga”, and says that only he can defeat Sheikh Chilli (shown as a skull cap wearing school boy), who has an even “badi dukaan” of Yoga. Saffron-clad Guru Ghantaal is able to put Sheikh Chilli in a spot, but reveals himself to be an evil witch who wants the necklace of a Jinn, Sheikh Chilli’s slave and friend.
Watch the clip here:;
“Since this is a serious issue, the commission has taken cognizance of the tweet under Section 13 (1 (j) of CPCR Act, 2005 and is of the view that the show with this type of content will not only pollute the young minds of children but tends to create disharmony, hatred and distress among them. Further, this type of content could evoke disparity in the society and among children. Telecast of such things in mass media should be prohibited and Doordarshan should take extra precaution while telecasting shows/series fir children and also refrain themselves from getting into such things,” the letter said.
See the letter below:
Earlier in the day, a website reported that Doordarshan had already decided to stop telecast of the series after its clip created an outrage on social media. Quoting “sources in Prasar Bharati”, the report said that the series was anyway going to end in the third week of December and the derogatory portrayal of yoga gurus and saints was “one of the factors as part of broader revamp of FPC (Fixed Point Charter).
The series was being telecast for the last four months at 8 am everyday after the state broadcaster entered into a partnership with Discovery Kids to telecast several of its shows including Little Singham and Kisna.
Sheikh Chilli (name taken after a Sufi saint known for his wit) is about a nine-year-old boy who lives in a town of Jhunjun Nagariya, and has among his friends a Jinn named Noorie, a girl named Mallika and a six-inches talking toy named Khatkoo. As per this website, the series has 104 episodes of 11 minutes each.
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