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Globalization and politics

Raksha Kumar
Freelance Multimedia Journalist
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piqer: Raksha Kumar
Wednesday, 08 August 2018

Press Freedom Breathing Its Last In Modi's India?

This past week, the managing editor and a senior editor of a popular Hindi TV channel, ABP News, resigned on two successive days. Another famous primetime anchor was asked to go on a 15-day leave. The reason: they did some reportage critical of the prime minister of India. In this article, senior editor Punya Prasun Bajpai, who resigned on August 2, claims the channel's management asked him to avoid references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his criticism of government policies during his show Masterstroke.

In the context of the prevailing political scenario, following the diktat would be an immensely difficult task. Take, for instance, a report on unemployment in India highlighting the government’s claims of employment generation through its skill development programme. How would it look, showing the reality on ground without a whisper about the claims made by Prime Minister Modi about the success of the programmes?

He goes on to write that while the prime minister wants to train 400 million young people under the skill development programme, until 2018 only 20 million had undergone such a training. 

Most interestingly, Bajpai writes that a 200-member team at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India monitors the content of all news channels.

The truth is, those who watch primetime content are asked to prepare a report on the duration for which the bulletin shows the prime minister, obviously in a good light. Those who show him for the longest duration are considered the best.
Press Freedom Breathing Its Last In Modi's India?
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