Modi Censors Media: After ABP, Now Viewers Of NDTV India Experiencing Blackouts?
Both television anchors - Ravish Kumar and Punya Prasun Bajpai - are known to be critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
National news channel NDTV India on Tuesday, released a video on social media asking if its viewers are facing problem in watching the channel. Journalist Ravish Kumar urged the viewers to submit their complaints to the channel, along with the details about region, state and cable operator.
NDTV इंडिया के दर्शको, अगर आप हमारा चैनल नहीं देख पा रहे हैं, तो कृपया हमें firstname.lastname@example.org पर ई-मेल करें या 7982135003 पर व्हॉट्सऐप करें… pic.twitter.com/F4nBRoWPCF
— NDTVIndia (@ndtvindia) August 21, 2018
This comes weeks after viewers of news channel ABP complained about blackouts during Punya Prasun Bajpai’s prime time show ‘Masterstroke’.
Senior journalists, including Barkha Dutt pointed it out on Twitter.
Most disturbing is how a certain broadcast can be “interrupted” technically.. every night . Who is doing it ? That makes the license redundant. In any case GOI has not been clearing news channel licenses except for those who are it’s allies. That too is intimidation. https://t.co/JYQh33bLbG
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) August 2, 2018
Both the television anchors, Kumar and Bajpai are known to be critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. Bajpai even resigned from ABP after he was pressurised by the channel’s management not to mention PM Modi in his prime time show.
Allegations of covert press censorship being carried out by the BJP government are mounting everyday. There have been several instances where journalists, cartoonists and media outlets that are critical of the government were penalised by arm twisting the management.
NDTV had faced BJP government’s ire in 2016 as well, when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered a one-day blackout alleging that the channel had aired “strategically-sensitive information”. Most commentators had termed that black-out a government overreach that was aimed at penalising NDTV for it’s unfavourable coverage of the Modi government .
If NDTV viewers today are in fact experiencing black-outs, it is a worrying event that bodes ill for press freedoms everywhere in the country.