Video: India orders apology for Gandhi video

updated 1/12/2007 10:45:12 AM ET 2007-01-12T15:45:12

India on Friday ordered two television channels to apologize for showing footage of a man dressed as revered Indian freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi performing a pole dance and brandishing an AK-47 rifle.

Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said in a statement the two Hindi-language channels -- IBN-7 and Sahara -- tried “to denigrate Mahatma Gandhi” in a way that was tantamount to an “assault to the dignity of the Father of the Nation.”

The managing editor of IBN-7 defended his station’s decision to air the video, which he said was originally posted on the popular Web site.

“We felt humiliated and angry after seeing the visuals put on the Web site as it is an insult to the father of the nation and so we wanted to share the outrage with the people of India,” Ashutosh, who goes by only one name, told Reuters.

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“We had no intention showing Gandhiji in bad light.:

Worshiped in India
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, widely known as Mahatma Gandhi, is worshipped by many Indians for his role in ending British colonial role through non-violent means.

“The video has Gandhiji shooting at people with an AK-47, holding a knife at somebody’s neck and roaming around with two half-clad women,” Ashutosh said.

“He is also shown doing a striptease and passing vulgar gestures during a pole dance.”

The video was shot in the United States, another IBN official said.

The clip was copied by the channels and aired on Thursday, a ministry official said.

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