Shocking scenes were witnessed on national television when two guests on a live show used expletives, slapped and grappled with each other, leaving the audience aghast and prompting the channel to condemn the incident.
A self-styled godman Om Ji of the Hindu Mahasabha and astrologer Rakhi Bai were seen sharing sharp exchanges on IBN 7's show, Aaj Ka Mudda. Om Ji was seen engaged in a heated discussion with Rakhi Bai over a controversy related to self-styled god woman Raadhe Maa, who is embroiled in a case of alleged domestic violence.
"How can you criticise Raadhe Maa, you correct yourself first," Om Ji was heard saying. When Rakhi Bai protested, he said he was talking about another participant on the show, Deepa Sharma, whom the channel described as 'Dharma Guru'.
He referred to some alleged controversies about the family life of Sharma and criminal cases against her. Sharma, who had looked calm by then, stood up and approached Om Ji from behind and interrupted his harangue by patting on his back.
"Tameez se baat kariye (talk properly)," she was seen warning the self-styled God man and then slapped him. Om Ji slapped her back and was seen holding her hands tightly. "Tu kya maregi?(How will you beat me?)" he said as the two were shown grappling on screen.
Meanwhile, the channel has "condemned" the incident. "We invite responsible people to our shows and expect our guests to behave responsibly. We don't expect such behaviour from them and condemn it," it said. NK Singh, general secretary of broadcast editors association also disapproved of the incident. "The purpose of such shows is to give information from both sides and let viewers make a decision. This is shameful," he said.