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A Govt of India move to 'force' journos to join cacophony of state propaganda: CASR

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights network* Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), condemning the raid on the house and office of the editors of The Wire, has said, police and investigative agencies like CBI and ED are being used as tools to attack the independent media houses and individual journalists.
Describing Indian state “Brahmanical Hindutva fascist”, in a statment, CASR said, it is “forcing the journalists to either join the cacophony of the state's propaganda or else they are silenced. Curtailing of press freedom is part of larger campaign to control India by fuelling anti-people hate propaganda.”

Text:

The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) condemns the raids carried out by Delhi Police at mid night on the house of the various editors of The Wire and its office based in Delhi, on the complaint of BJP Spokesperson Amit Malviya pertaining to series of articles about Amit Malviya enjoying special censorship on the contents being published on social media company named ‘Meta'.
Despite The Wire publishing a report, clarifying that the media agency was deceived by one of its employee into publishing factually incorrect and unsubstantiated reports pertaining to said censorship, Crime Branch of Delhi Police raided the house of Siddharth Vardarajan, MK Venu, Sidharth Bhatia and Jahnavi Sen on 31st October, followed by the seizure of their laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
The Wire is known for its critical and ethical reporting, which is doing justice to the role of media in these times and we believe that such a raid on the media personnel of The Wire is part of a larger attack on free press.
It's not new that the independent media houses, from time to time, are being terrorised by such raids. This all had increased many folds in these fascistic times, with many journalists being subjected to incarceration and extra judicial killings. According to the India Press Freedom Report 2021 by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG), "At least six journalists were killed, 108 attacked and 13 media houses or newspapers targeted across the country".
The widespread attacks on the press freedom from J&K to Tripura are an indicator of the continuing deterioration of civic space in the country. The highest number of journalists or media organisations targeted was in J&K (25), followed by Uttar Pradesh (23), Madhya Pradesh (16), Tripura (15), Delhi (8), Bihar (6), Assam (5), Haryana and Maharashtra (4 each), Goa and Manipur (3 each), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (2 each), and Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Kerala (1 each),” the report stated.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 9th Feb 2021 raided the Delhi office and residences of the owners and journalists associated with the independent media portal NewsClick.in. Sources close to the company said that the immediate trigger was the extensive coverage of the farmers’ protests by the media outlet as it had garnered several million views
The CBI raid of NDTV is also an example of the witch hunt planned by the government. Apart from this there are many cases being filed in Gujrat from Adani Group on the journalists reporting on the illegitimate activities of the corporate. 
The Adani Group has mounted a defamation case against freelance journalist Ravi Nair who is based in Delhi. Nair has been a frequent contributor to AdaniWatch. The complaint against Nair was filed in the court of Gandhinagar in Adani’s home state of Gujarat and is dated 19 August 2021.
Similar is the case of Jharkhand based Independent Journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh, who has been booked under UAPA for allegedly aiding the ‘Maoist Leadership’. He has been vocal on the issue of corporate loot of resources through militarisation in tribal areas of Jharkhand and its impact on people’s lives. He was earlier picked up in 2019, also for allegedly helping the ‘Maoists’ but was released due to lack of evidence against him. He was one of the many who’s phone was snooped using Pegasus spyware.
Brahmanical Hindutva fascist state is forcing the journalists to either join the cacophony of the state's propaganda or else they are silenced. Curtailing of press freedom is part of larger campaign to control India by fuelling anti-people hate propaganda.
The mainstream pro-Hindutva media is involved in broadcasting the prime times based on targeting the oppressed minorities, oppressed sections, activists and public intellectuals based on the cooked evidences. This leading to the pogroms as had happened in Delhi last year, there is no action taken on these media houses whereas the fact checking journalists like Mohammad Zubair of AltNews are being booked under various falsified charges.
The Wire is known for its critical and ethical reporting, which is doing justice to the role of media
The media also re-enforces the media trials in which the minds are already being prepared to accept victims as the perpetrators. Those very few media outlets and freelancer who are still raising the democratic voices are being targeted.
Finally, it must be noted that the branding and targeting journalists to demoralise and demonise them is a tactic that the State is deploying with increasing frequency and intensity. Be it in the arrest of academics, activists, lawyers, journalists and poets in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case or the incarceration of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh, Siddiqui Kappan, Fahad Shah of ‘Kasmir Walla', Asif Sultan and now several more, it is evident that the State is becoming more and more intolerant of any critical voice or dissent. At such times, it is imperative that democratic and progressive voices speak out, else risk being silenced forever.
Campaign Against State Repression urges democratic and progressive organisations and individuals to condemn this raid on Journalists of ‘the wire' and stand in defence of Democratic and pro people Journalism.
Our Demands:
1. Stop witch hunt of journalists of The Wire.
2. Stop harassing the journalists and attacking the independent media houses.
3. Release all pro people and democratic Journalists.
4. The media trials ahead of the judicial trials, purposefully done to demonise the activists, journalists, academics and other oppressed and exploited sections must be stopped immediately.
---
*AISA, AISF, APCR, BCM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, BSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, IAPL, IMK, Karnataka Janashakti, KYS,, LSI, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Mehnatkash Mahila Sangathan, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, , Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Satyashodak Sangh, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS

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