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December 13, 2019

This is #Emergency 2: Censorship in media and Parliament

This is #Emergency 2: Censorship in media and Parliament

Yesterday, there was a media advisory from the I& B ministry being circulated amongst private TV channels/media. We confirmed the “media advisory” was genuine. We then resubmitted the Zero Hour Notice in RS #Parliament today. However, BJP members (the Govt) deliberately raised slogans and disrupted RS proceedings today. The voice of the Trinamool and The Opposition is being censored in Parliament in different ways. Reproduced below is the statement of Derek O’Brien,

Trinamool’s Parliamentary party leader in Rajya Sabha, who was not allowed to raise this today in RS.

There is censorship in India. This is an Emergency. The media Advisory speaks about not airing content that is “anti-national” and threatens “the integrity of the nation”.

What is anti-national? When Demonetisation was brought in, GST was implemented, the NRC and CAB were brought in, the Opposition raised its voice each time, and they were termed anti-national. We ask, who defines what is ‘anti-national’?

The government is trying to intimidate the media, asking them not to report the truth by sending these advisories. The government is trying to control the media. Trinamool is for a free media. On behalf of Mamata Banerjee and the All India Trinamool Congress, we want to appeal to the media, please do your job fearlessly.

They are suppressing the media. They are suppressing the opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. They are putting a gag.

On the other hand, what is happening abroad? Many friendly neighbouring countries are unhappy. The PM of Japan postponed his India visit. So what is the message here?

Government should be mindful that its domestic political point scoring and controversial rhetoric don’t embitter relations with friendly countries. Divisiveness at home has an impact on diplomacy abroad.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay

Derek O’Brien