Criticism of ban on NDTV India is politically inspired, ill-informed: Venkaiah Naidu

The minister said the UPA government too had banned 21 channels for periods ranging from a day to two months, some for showing obscene visuals, and one for telecasting a sting operation.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi/panaji | Updated: November 7, 2016 6:36 pm
ndtv, ndtv india, ndtv india ban, NDTV India black-out, Pathankot, Pathankot airbase attack, airbase attack, Pathankot attack, Pathankot terrorists, india news, indian express, indian express news Venkaiah Naidu. (File Photo)

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the criticism of his ministry’s decision to ban NDTV India for a day was “politically inspired”, “ill informed” and “belated”. Naidu said in Chennai that since the criticism of, and the reactions to, the order came a day after it was made public, it was “clearly an afterthought, suggesting motivated design to create a controversy where none existed”.

WATCH VIDEO:  NDTV India Moves Supreme Court Over One-Day Ban: Here’s More

Naidu said the inter-ministerial committee recommended the ban “after duly acknowledging the instant reach and power of television”, and recommended suspending the telecast only for a day “as a token, so that the said channel cannot get away completely for being even unrepentant in the matter”.

The minister said the UPA government too had banned 21 channels for periods ranging from a day to two months, some for showing obscene visuals, and one for telecasting a sting operation. Naidu said people were wise enough to appreciate which of the two violations — showing obscene visuals “at the stroke of midnight” and “risking the lives of defence personnel and civilians through a live telecast of anti-terrorist operations in broad day light” — was “a serious threat to the interests of the nation”.

The government, he said, was empowered “to take action for transmitting any objectionable content inconsistent with public interest”. “I leave it to the wisdom of the Editors’ Guild to ponder if the decision against NDTV India for the reasons explained, is really reminiscent of the dark days of Emergency,” Naidu said.

He said many BJP leaders had been “at the receiving end” during the Emergency, and “would shudder to even think of doing the same to others and particularly, in respect of freedom of media”. The government, he said, has the “highest regard for media and the freedom of media and will never allow any infringement of it”.

Naidu said the decision to take NDTV India off air for a day “was not based on any newly invented rule and principle”, and the “ground on which action has been proposed against NDTV India was only a logical conclusion of concerns clearly articulated by the UPA government in various advisories issued after 26/11 terror attacks on multiple targets in Mumbai in 2008”.

Even though the UPA government did issue advisories after the 26/11 attacks, the recommendation by the inter-ministerial committee to ban NDTV India was based on the violation of 6(1)(p) of the Programme Code, which was introduced in June 2015.

The UPA advisories had asked news channels to “exercise restraint, maturity and sensitivity” while reporting on anti-terrorist operations, Naidu said. After “continued violations”, the UPA government had concluded that “any coverage violating such norms amount to coverage against the interests of the nation”, he said.

The NDA government too had issued a “couple of such advisories”, and had noticed that the violations had continued during the 2015 Gurdaspur attacks, Naidu said. “As the Government is deeply committed to uphold the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country, particularly, in the context of cross border terrorism,” he said, a Gazette notification was issued in March, “requiring TV channels to limit live coverage of anti-terrorist operations to the briefings of designated officers, in the larger security interests involved”.

NDTV India, Naidu said, was found to have violated this provision while reporting on Pathankot, and “was found to be unrepentant about what they have done”. He said the channel had “resorted to similar violations earlier”.
Naidu criticised Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for “talking about the dark days of Emergency”.

“Do you know what is Emergency? Some people who were in the Congress at that time and now in different political parties also joined the chorus now because it has become a fashion. They just want to use each and every occasion to criticise the government and take the name of the Prime Minister for each and everything,” PTI quoted Naidu as saying.

In Panaji, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said action had been taken against NDTV India because it had flouted guidelines issued after the 26/11 attacks. “It’s not a ban, but the channel was asked to temporarily put off their broadcast as they had broadcast live operation, which is against the guidelines issued to the channels following the 2008 terror attack,” Parrikar said.

The defence minister said the broadcast had wider implications as it concerned national security and the lives of serving personnel and their families at the airbase. “During UPA regime, nearly 21 times such guidelines were issued against channels for broadcasting even something like sting operation, whereas this is the matter of national security,” he said.

“The broadcast compromised the strategic assets, it may have been easily picked up by the terrorist handlers and the lives of our own security personnel may have been compromised,” Parrikar said.

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First Published on: November 6, 2016 4:08 am
  1. M
    Mathura
    Nov 6, 2016 at 3:32 am
    what he really means is that ban is “politically inspired”, “ informed” and based on pick and choose basis.
    Reply
    1. A
      Aligato
      Nov 6, 2016 at 6:41 am
      Learn from history, using national security as disguise, stan has for more than 6 decades fed its citizens with venomous ideology of fundamentalism. Today stan is a suffering because their people didn't stand up to save democracy. Are we turning into another STAN ?
      Reply
      1. A
        Avinash Pandey
        Nov 6, 2016 at 11:31 am
        VENKAIAH NAIDU wants a world which is not politically inspired. But clutches onto politics for his dear life. so much for a life and actions which are politically uninspired!!!
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        1. A
          Aswath
          Nov 6, 2016 at 10:24 am
          I don't support the ban on media, But its not like NDTV is free of sins. Read this wikileaks docu: NDTV_censored_blogger_over_criticism_of_Mumbai_terrorist_attack_reporage,_27_Nov_2008lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Why are all other sites blocking my comment? Does it look like spam?
          Reply
          1. A
            avinash
            Nov 6, 2016 at 7:24 am
            Incorrect to ban bcoz not favoring govt
            Reply
            1. S
              saurabh sharma
              Nov 7, 2016 at 8:42 am
              appreciation as well as criticism is essentially a view put forward by people in democracy, just to help the ruling govt. to get sync. with public opinion. by disregarding the criticism and calling it politically motivated is harm to democracy itself.
              Reply
              1. S
                saurabh sharma
                Nov 6, 2016 at 6:35 am
                it is the duty of govt. to put forward relevant information to public space, which is needed to justify the ban. just saying 'national security matters' is not enough.
                Reply
                1. C
                  cifran
                  Nov 6, 2016 at 3:18 am
                  its a reflection of the stupidity of the authorities that they cannot set up a sterile perimeter around the scene of crime. then after "operating" leisurely for about week, they managed to "neutralize" 4- wait no, 6 - no wait, yes 8 terrorists, the mighty indian government is banning some nosy press company. fighting with small people is a sign of panic and cowardice.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Bir Chilarai
                    Nov 6, 2016 at 6:24 am
                    As far as the overwhelming majority of Indians are concerned, NDTVs actions over the years have been deliberately harmful to national interests at best and traitorous and criminal at worst. They can be shown to have directly caused the deaths of many Indians and deserve much more serious punishment than this mild tap on the knuckles. Indians of all cles are very well informed today and can see through what is going on very well. NDTV should be banned PERMANENTLY to send a message that India and Indians will not tolerate r@ndibazi in our media.
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                      Bir Chilarai
                      Nov 6, 2016 at 6:28 am
                      True but that begs the question: would the police have allowed the gaggle of phone camera wielding villagers to gather around if this had been a real "encounter"? Obviously not. And since it was a real encounter, what is all the noise about? Case closed. Go home.
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                      1. A
                        A villager
                        Nov 6, 2016 at 5:04 am
                        Print Media like Indian Express shall also be banned.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mohanan k
                          Nov 6, 2016 at 5:00 am
                          Medias like NDTV should be under special censorship.lt;br/gt;NDTV is a SECRET JOY of all ANTI NATION ELEMENTS and Its LOBBIES that are keen to sabotage integrated structural power of INDIA.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Vigilant Restrictions in FREEDOM is needed when FREEDOM is misused lavishly and shamelessly by any individuals OR insutions/organizations to spoil INTEGRITY OF THE NATION and INTERESTS of THE NATION.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;NDTV's ugly business links with vast and deep corruption lobbies were well exposed in 3G Scam.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;NATION comes FIRST......... not selfish interests of some INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS, or INSUTIONS.though MEDIAS like NDTV.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            mathimathi
                            Nov 6, 2016 at 8:42 am
                            what about your UP election Projection ram modu idi8 and ravana Nawas idi8 VENKAIAH.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              rahul
                              Nov 6, 2016 at 10:04 am
                              If people can justify NDTV's crime involved in spreading rumours, lies, murder, genocide, theft and Barkha Dutt's act of working as a mediator in 2G scam, murder of Indian soldiers during her Kargil war edia coverage stint Then there is no need for judiciary system. As all Criminal, murderers, rappists have committed less severe crime than NDTV. If NDTV's all crimes are justifiable, then every criminal can be justifiable for his sins.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Government should confiscate all the properties of NDTV and its founder and hang them to death.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                s s nair
                                Nov 6, 2016 at 2:17 am
                                If what was shown on TV channel is security risk, how is that the terrorists reached Pathankot when the govt was sleeping.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Shrikant Sharma
                                  Nov 6, 2016 at 7:44 am
                                  shrikantsharma from newyork says that one day ban of symbolic nature on ndtv which is a pak china sponsered tv is not sufficient its ravis kumar should be sent to jail and atleast one mont ban should be imposed.
                                  Reply
                                  1. V
                                    Vishva Sharma
                                    Nov 6, 2016 at 2:46 am
                                    A news channel behaving in a wayward manner harmful to national security, needs to be controlled. It is much more harmful than separatists throwing stones on security personnel.
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