Skip to main content

The New York Times editorial: Censorship back in India "with vengeance", reminiscent of Emergency days

By Our Representative
In a move without precedence, one of world’s most influential dailies, the New York Times, has editorially declared that “press censorship” is back in India “with a vengeance.” But there is a caveat, it suggest. During the Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, Prime Minister India Gandhi imposed “strict” censorship, but this time it is “not direct government fiat but by powerful owners and politicians.” Titled “India’s Press in Siege”, the top daily, however, compares it with the censorship imposed Indira Gandhi, recalling how, “with defiant exceptions, much of the press caved in quickly to the new rules.”
Reminiscing that at then LK Advani, one of the founders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who was jailed during the Emergency, was commented on the way the media behaved -- “you were merely asked to bend, but you chose to crawl”, the New York Times suggests the same party is seeking to resort to almost similar ways now, though the means are different.
It underlines, “More recently, media owners are bringing direct pressure on journalists to curb reporting or change editorial direction. Several prominent journalists have been pushed out of their jobs or have resigned in protest because they refused to go along.”
Giving instances, the New York Times says, “In October, Siddharth Varadarajan left The Hindu after the newspaper’s owner took over editorial direction. Hartosh Singh Bal was fired by Open magazine in November over the protests of his editor, Manu Joseph, who himself resigned in January.”
The saga has continued, it comments: “The newspaper Daily News and Analysis (DNA) pulled an article off its website this month by Rana Ayyub that was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment of Amit Shah to head the Bharatiya Janata Party, citing the charges of murder, among other crimes, for which Shah is still technically on trial”.
The editorial further states, “The world of Indian television was shaken by the resignations this month of Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose after their employer, TV18 Broadcast Ltd., was purchased in May by Reliance Industries Ltd., headed by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. TV18 has partnerships with the global media operations CNN, CNBC, Viacom, A&E Networks and Forbes magazine.”
Meanwhile, the daily says, “The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is promising that it will release recommendations on regulating media cross-ownership next month. The aim should be to make ownership of media companies in India transparent to the public, which is not the case now.”
Pointing out that in February, “Reporters Without Borders ranked India as one of the most restrictive countries in the world for press freedom”, the New York Times says, “India’s government has a responsibility to act to protect the free press before corporate consolidation and private censorship further erode citizens’ right to know.”
Press censorship, in the newspaper’s view, is not new and has continued in some form in the recent years too. “First, there were the phone calls recorded by tax investigators in 2009 between Niira Radia, a lobbyist for some of India’s most powerful corporations, and members of the media elite that revealed a dismayingly cozy relationship between the two. Last year, the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology issued its report on the scandal of paid news, in which political parties buy coverage”, it says.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Are these morons in NYTimes have some sort of mental disease?

What kind of nonsense these dumb and utterly stupid old racists morons come up with? Do they have even mental stability to put even one fact in context?

1. Comparing Emergency to current state - Mentally ill, racist morons! Do you how emergency was? The editors/journalists were arrested, beaten and banned. Half the newspaper used to blackened. How Can these dumb idiots even compare 2014 and 1975? Are you that low IQ?

2. The joke of spewing venom on Modi by racist, christian mentally ill losers is their venom has no bearing on truth whatsoever.

Cite some random events with no evidence or events that happened 5 years back or 3 years back and blaming Modi for that? Does these white racist supremacists now hplay the judge,jury and executioners?

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.