A TV channel in Hyderabad has offended and upset many viewers by outing members of a gay club on air.
TV 9, which broadcasts in Telugu ran a report last night that it says was intended as "an expose" on the gay community in Hyderabad. A "sting operation" showed a reporter logging onto a gay social networking site from where they located private profile information like phone numbers. They then phoned those people and recorded their conversations, which aired on TV along with profile photos lifted from the networking site. The questions the reporter asked included preferred sexual positions.
The seven-minute long report also included footage shot on hidden camera at gay clubs.
One of the young men outed allegedly tried to commit suicide after his parents saw him in the TV report.
"It's an infringement of privacy...which can have serious repercussions here in India. You could lose your job, could create family problems. It's a step backwards," said Sunil Gupta, a prominent gay rights activist in Delhi.
The TV report's script says it wanted to establish that software professionals, students and rich young people were involved in "activity that is against the law of nature."
Gay rights groups have demanded a public apology from the channel and are also considering legal action.