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Even Jesus Christ himself wouldn't get past the BBC's Thought writes LORD SINGH after quitting the broadcaster in a row over censors Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Howsithangin 

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 03:17 AM

Even Jesus Christ himself wouldn't get past the BBC's Thought Police today, writes LORD SINGH after quitting the broadcaster in a row over censorship

By LORD SINGH FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 01:43 BST, 6 October 2019 | UPDATED: 01:48 BST, 6 October 2019

There was a time when broadcasting Thought For The Day on Radio 4 was both a pleasure and a privilege. So, it is with real sadness that after 35 years, I have decided I can no longer continue. During that time my contributions, steeped in my Sikh faith, have been appreciated by people of all religions and from all walks of life in many different countries. Giving a lecture in Estonia, I was introduced by the British ambassador as ‘the man who brought Guru Nanak [the founder of Sikhism] to the breakfast tables of Britain’. My very first talk on Thought For The Day, a humorous reflection on irrational prejudice, is still used as a teaching aid in schools.

But in recent years I, along with several other experienced contributors, have been dismayed by the politically correct constraints increasingly placed upon us. The demand for ‘sensitivity’ in talking about religious, political or social issues has been taken to quite absurd levels, while the regular insistence on trivial textual changes right up to the moment we walk into the studio makes it difficult to say anything worthwhile.

One colleague complains that the BBC ‘Thought Police’ are finding problems with scripts where there are no issues at all, and I’m sorry to say that I share that view. Where once Thought For The Day aimed to make an ethical contribution to the discussion of social and political issues, now it is a recital of religious platitudes.

<snip>
Today, I believe that Guru Nanak and Jesus Christ himself – who bravely raised social concerns while stressing tolerance and respect – would be allowed nowhere near the Thought For The Day studio.

My concerns came to a head last November, with an attempt to prevent me from broadcasting a script relating to a central event in Sikh history. My proposed talk had been about the martyrdom of a founding Sikh Guru, who gave his life upholding an absolute Sikh commitment – that all people should have freedom of belief.

Guru Teg Bahadhur, the ninth Guru, was martyred defending Hindus against the Mughal Emperor’s policy of forced conversion in the 17th Century.

The Guru’s death occupies a similar position in Sikh teachings to Easter in Christianity, and his example has been applauded by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, as a moving example of selfless sacrifice valued by people of all faiths.

Yet the BBC told to me that discussing this historical episode – which involved a bigoted Muslim ruler more than 300 years ago – might inexplicably upset some Muslims now. I was appalled.

<snip>
The way that I – and my faith – had been treated, however, left me with no choice but to raise my concerns – informally – with the Director General of the BBC.

Things did not improve. I found that the number of my Thought For The Day slots was reduced and the pressure grew.

In May of this year, after another script – this time expressing Sikh concerns about the worldwide persecution of Christians – had already been agreed, I received a message that I had to vacate the slot because the senior producer wanted to get someone else to talk about a different topic.

<snip>
But I can no longer accept prejudiced and intolerant attempts by the BBC to silence Sikh teachings on tolerance, freedom of belief and on the duty we all must share to build a more cohesive and responsible society.

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Modern western media, pop culture, and governance summarized in one excellent column.
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#2 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:44 PM

View PostHowsithangin, on 12 October 2019 - 03:17 AM, said:

.... Modern western media, pop culture, and governance summarized in one excellent column.


Well, what passes for 'governance' these days anyway.
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