Two more channels banned now
‘News Time Assam’ a regional channel in Assam has been banned by the Centre for a day – November 9 and another ‘Careworld TV’ has been taken off air for seven days from November 9 for allegedly broadcasting objectionable content.
According to a government order, News Time Assam is accused of revealing the identity of a minor who was brutally tortured while working as a domestic servant.The order said that the visuals shown compromised the privacy and dignity of the child, exposing him to harm and stigma. The channel has been also accused of showing images of dead bodies.
Now how many channels do not show dead bodies? Especially because most of our news is bad news, strewn with encounters and dead bodies. It all started with the BJP government’s Information and Broadcasting ministry imposing a one day ban on the popular Hindi news channel, NDTV India on November 9th as punishment for broadcasting sensitive information about the Pathankot air base in Punjab.
But why was NDTV India singled out? It is the political leaning and slant of reporting in the now numerous channels that matters. While channels like Times Now, and News X were screaming their heads off about the neighbour’s involvement in Pathankot,even before actual evidence, NDTV took the time to be critical and raise questions on the poor security in such an important airbase as Pathankot.
Ban was just for one day, as a token says Venkaiah Naidu
Mr. Naidu said the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s suspension of telecast was “just for one day as a token, so the said channel( NDTV India) cannot get away completely for being even unrepentant in the matter”.
Reminding the various instances of media bans by the Congress government, he said,“People of the country should know that the UPA government, during 2005-14, ordered several television channels to go off air in 21 instances, for a period ranging from one day to two months for showing obscene visuals including 13 cases of telecasting adult-rated films when most of the children and the young would have been fast asleep.” Saying this he again reiterated that this time the reason was different- endangering the security of the army and for remaining ‘unrepentant’ about it.
Almost all the Opposition parties united to condemn the ban and charged that the days of Emergency and dictatorship are back. Venkaiah Naidu countered with, “AXN was banned for two months, FTV was banned for two months, Enter 10 for one day, ABN Andhra Jyothi for seven days. Al Jazeera was banned for five days for showing wrong map of India. These are all done earlier. Now they are saying it is done for the first time, murder of democracy, Emergency reminiscent and all.”
But it must be recalled that all the above instances were for different reasons and never justified in the name of national security. Now that the first move is over, it is easy to proceed. Hence it looks like more punishments will be meted out to channels which do not toe the line of the rulers and more outrageous reasons will be supplied. It all depends on the people who can fall for the explanations given without protest.