Kabul TV bans 'explicit' Indian films, soaps
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A selective ban has been put in place on Kabul TV that will keep certain "explicit" Indian films -- featuring singing and dancing -- off state-run television.
Afghan officials did not say how long the ban would remain in place, but it does not extend beyond television and would not stop people from seeing these films in a movie theater or buying the videos for personal use.
Previously, objectionable parts of the Indian films have been edited out for broadcast, often punching holes in the storyline.
Afghans are adjusting to life with TV, movies and videos, less than a year after the conservative Taliban government was forced out of power by a U.S.-led coalition.
Officials said the selective ban will help moderate the audience and let them digest things -- given that it's a novelty in the post-Taliban era.
The movies continue to be shown in other less-conservative parts of the nation.
Separately, the loya jirga -- a traditional Afghan tribal council, developing the next government for Afghanistan -- has a committee putting together a standards and practices document for TV and radio stations.
Indian films, with their mix of melodrama, romance, songs and theatrical fighting, have become hugely popular, and restaurants throughout Afghanistan compete for customers by showing them, Reuters news agency reports.
Ironically, Indian films -- and images of women singing -- are regularly shown on state television in Kandahar, the deeply conservative former stronghold of the Taliban.
Both also appear on television in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
But Kabul TV has remained under the influence of more conservative elements of the Northern Alliance, and images of women singing have not been allowed on television, Reuters reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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