DMK on Saturday described as a “violation of freedom of expression” the one-day ban on NDTV India over the Pathankot attack broadcast and said if such instances continue “it will lead to a second Emergency in the country”. Party President M Karunanidhi also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to “guarantee” that the freedom of expression will not be affected in the BJP regime.
The 93-year-old leader said the latest action reminded him of the days of Emergency when his articles in party mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ were “banned”. “If the Central government continues with such activities, it will lead to a second Emergency and those black days will be etched in the minds of people,” he said. “Therefore, the Prime Minister himself must intervene and come forward to give a guarantee that there will be no threat to freedom of expression. Else, the accusation across the country that the BJP government at the Centre is implementing authoritarianism under the garb of democracy will be construed as true,” he said in a statement.
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The decision of an inter-ministerial panel to take the leading Hindi news channel off air for a day over its reporting of the Pathankot terror attack has already come under severe criticism from media bodies and opposition parties such as Congress and AAP. Karunanidhi said the move amounted to “violation of the freedom of expression.”
Referring to the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, the DMK chief took exception to the three-time detention of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi over the suicide of an ex-serviceman on the matter. He said expressing condolences and supporting a protest came under the purview of democratic rights and that “arresting (someone) is a violation of human rights”.
OROP was implemented during the UPA regime and was “welcomed and supported” by all, Karunanidhi said, adding, the BJP government should remove anomalies and implement it without any hassles.