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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?

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