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Media narrative being 'turned into' BJP propaganda wing as in Italy, Brazil

By Our Representative 

Expressing concern regarding “continued decline of press freedom in India”, especially after “the BJP-RSS-Modi regime came to power in 2014”, the civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) has said that the Indian state “is trying to control the media narrative in totality and transform it into a propaganda wing for the BJP.”
Claiming that this transformation is “akin to the process of press control implemented by Benito Mussolini, Silvio Berlusconi and Jair Bolsonaro in Italy and Brazil”, in a statement issued on the occasion of the International Press Freedom Day (May3), CASR regretted that the Indian state is “continuously increasing its attacks on journalists” by way of tagging them as ‘Maoist-linked’ or supportive of ‘Islamic terror outfits’, especially those “supportive” of the struggles of the oppressed sections and nationalities like in Kashmir, Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.
“The targets of this onslaught range have led to many political prisoners from among journalists like Rupesh Kumar Singh who was working on the question of displacement of Adivasis and the Indian state’s genocidal war on people, the “Kashmirwalla’s” Fahad Shah who was only recently released after wrongful incarceration for reporting on fake encounters in Kashmir, Asif Sultan who regularly reported on Kashmir and was acquitted after 5 years only to be re-arrested within 24 hours last month, Siddique Kappan who was arrested and incarcerated for many years while proceeding to Hathras to report on the rape and murder of a Dalit girl, among others”, the CASR statement said.
India's Press Freedom Index by RSF
“There is a clear attempt to implicate, intimidate and terrorise any and every journalist who defies the manufactured narrative of the Indian state in favour of ground reporting of people's struggles and demands”, it underlined.
“While some are arrested or detained for prolonged periods under the draconian UAPA or Public Safety Acts, others are forced into submission via NIA and ED raids. The question of press freedom is closely associated with the overall democratic space in the country which is shrinking rapidly by way of draconian laws like UAPA and hounding agencies like NIA-ED”, it added.
Demanding immediate release of all political prisoners, including the journalists who are incarcerated under “bogus cases for their pro-people reporting”, it urged “pro-people, democratically minded journalists to join it in building a broad resistance” against state’s suppression of democratic rights and dissent.



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