NEW DELHI: Radio jockeys have reacted strongly to the views expressed by MP Jaya Bachchan and Union I&B minister Prakash Javadekar in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday saying that any action to control programming would amount to overreach by the government and would be detrimental to freedom of expression.

Radio Mirchi’s RJ Sayema said that while she finds the use of “double meaning” words on air improper, humour and satire should be allowed its space. “Humour, wit and satire are very important, and as far as those are concerned everyone should take it easy. Freedom of expression can’t be taken away from entertainment programs,” she said.

Freelance RJ and voice over artist Ashish Ddavidd said it is important for RJs to have freedom of expression. “I don’t think this is a step in the right direction. I don’t know what message it sends out if this issue is raised on the eve of our Independence Day,” said Ddavidd.

Another Delhi-based RJ said that this could lead to infringement on freedom of expression. “Radio is the most powerful medium in terms of reach. Taking its voice away won’t look good on the government,” she said on the condition of anonymity as she wasn’t authorized by her channel to speak to the press.

During the question hour in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Bachchan had asked Javadekar what the government was doing about jokes and language used by radio jockeys on air, and their mimicking of senior MPs, which she described as “not palatable”. Later while speaking to the press, she also objected to the use of “double meaning” words (euphemisms for obscenities) by RJs.