‘Purely governmental function’: Delhi HC refuses to order new 24-hour pan-India Doordarshan channel for Sindhi community

New Delhi, Feb 28 – The Delhi High Court has refused to issue direction to the Centre and Doordarshan for a new 24-hour pan-India Doordarshan channel specifically for the Sindhi community.

Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain noted that while the court recognises the Sindhi community’s right to preserve its heritage and culture, initiating a new channel is fundamentally a governmental decision beyond the court’s mandate for direct intervention.

“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 petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution by Asha Chand, which claims to be a non-profit organisation which endeavours to promote and preserve the 5,000-year-old Sindhi culture and language, for “issuance of directions to the respondents to allocate a 24 hours channel on Doordarshan for Sindhi community being a linguistic minority”.

The petitioner said that since the Sindhi community is a linguistic minority, the respondent (Doordarshan and Central government) is under added obligation to take effective and meaningful steps for the preservation and the promotion of the Sindhi language and culture.

“… the state has miserably failed to take appropriate steps to fulfill this constitutional obligation. The Government of India is taking multiple steps to promote other minorities but the Sindhi community did not find any place in any other policy of the government as per the mandate of Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the petitioner has said.

The court acknowledged the significance of promoting the Sindhi language and culture and noted Doordarshan’s ongoing efforts to broadcast Sindhi programmes across various channels, including DD Girnar, DD Rajasthan, and DD Sahyadri.

Furthermore, the court noted Doordarshan’s consideration towards dedicating specific slots for Sindhi programming on one of its regional channels, expressing hope that it would continue to explore all possibilities for enhancing Sindhi language and cultural representation within its broadcasting policy and guidelines.

“It is expected that the respondent shall make every possible effort and endeavour to open a new Doordarshan channel for the Sindhi community in the future as per policy and other guidelines,” the judge said and disposed of the petition.


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