NDTV off air: BJP defends ban, opposition says brazen, repressive

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “I hope the whole media goes off air for a day in solidarity wid [with] NDTV”.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published:November 5, 2016 3:35 am
ndtv, ndtv ban, ndtv off air, ndtv ban reaction, bjp ndtv ban, political parties on ndtv ban, india news I&B Ministry panel ordered NDTV India be taken off air for 24 hours for it’s coverage of Pathankot attack.

The BJP on Friday defended the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s order to take NDTV India off air for a day over the coverage of Pathankot terror attack, saying freedom of press is important but the nation comes first, as the decision drew sharp condemnation from the Opposition. “We support freedom of press in a democracy but the nation comes first. There cannot be any compromise on national security,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

Leading the Congress attack, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Detaining opposition leaders, blacking out tv channels — all in a day’s work in Modiji’s India. #NDTVBanned-shocking & unprecedented.” His party colleague Manish Tewari said there was a proposal to take “a particular English news channel off air for its coverage of Muzaffarnagar riots” when he was I&B minister in UPA-II. “I had specifically, in the first instance, returned the file for reconsideration. In the second instance, (I) dissented from the recommendation of the inter-ministerial committee,” Tewari told The Indian Express.

Thus, “ministers, in the larger interest of freedom of speech and expression, (have) taken a view contrary to what the bureaucracy may have recommended”, he pointed out. The Left parties said the government is attempting to “control the media and compel it to report to the liking of the government”. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “NDTV ban is shocking. If Government had issues with Pathankot coverage, there are provisions available. But ban shows an Emergency-like attitude.”

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “I hope the whole media goes off air for a day in solidarity wid [with] NDTV”. In a series of tweets former Bihar CM and RJD chief Lalu Prasad said, “An Emergency-like situation is prevailing in the country… Fascism is knocking on the doors of the country. The constitutional and democratic values are in danger. People who speak against the government are being arrested and banned.” In a joint statement, K C Tyagi of JD(U), D P Tripathi of NCP, D Raja of CPI and Manoj Jha of RJD called the order “atrocious and brazenly repressive”. Tyagi said opposition parties will raise the issue in Winter Session of Parliament.

Stating that he cannot recall any similar action against any news medium since the Emergency, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said, “I hope (better) sense would prevail and the government would withdraw its order.” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “It is ironic that the Prime Minister talked about Emergency and the dangers and that it should not be emulated, and at the same time all this is happening — (detaining) Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, and now this one-day ban. This is worse than what happened during Emergency.” CPI’s D Raja said, “In a way, this is an attempt to control the media and compel the media to report to the liking of the government.”

Anand Sharma, the I&B minister during UPA-I, told The Indian Express, “This cannot be taken in isolation from what is happening overall — there is increasing surveillance, they (government) are testing the ground for shackling the media by bringing in restrictions from the backdoor. They are seeking to convert India into a police state and take away liberty and freedom of expression.”

Referring to the media coverage of 2008 Mumbai attack, Tewari said the UPA government had faced difficult moments with media coverage at certain times but did not shoot the messenger. When told that the UPA had also suspended channels, Tewari said, “But not news channels.” Tewari’s predecessor Ambika Soni said, “I was an I&B minister for three-and-a-half years….(but) implementation of our Standard Operating Procedures was after warnings, and only in dire circumstances, if at all.”

(With inputs from Anand Mishra, Abantika Ghosh and Pradeep Kaushal)

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    Amar Akbar
    Nov 5, 2016 at 4:05 am
    How Barkha Dutt Helped the Terroristslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Barkha Dutt who some say was India’s answer to Christiane Amanpour (although Christiane is way ahead) sadly lost her composure and along with it a sense of ethical journalism. A lot of blogs out there have criticized her for her shoddy reporting. But below is an extract of the India’s Chief Admiral’s public ault on NDTV and more specifically Barkha Dutt. Read on…lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;“Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Tuesday mounted a frontal ault on the sections of the electronic media for its reckless coverage of the Mumbai attacks. In his annual press conference ahead of Navy Day on December 4, Mehta said the manner in which TV channels reported India’s worst terror strike had “tactical implications” and have worked to the advantage of the terrorists.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;“When operations were taking place, the channels were reporting that commandos were being airdropped. The terrorists were in live contact with their masters, who were keeping them informed. Such minute-by-minute coverage can be detrimental to conduct of operations. We are disturbed by such reporting.” Mehta picked s in the coverage of the 1999 Kargil war to prove that channels have traditionally not exercised restraint in their coverage of events that have a bearing on national security.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Singling out a lady journalist from the English news channel NDTV, Mehta, who is also the chairman of chiefs of staff committee, said irresponsible coverage of the war had compromised the safety of troops and led to the death of three soldiers. He said this particular journalist had cajoled an army colonel to demonstrate the firing of an artillery gun to capture a great shot on the camera. He said the colonel was later dismissed from service.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;New Delhi Television is owned by Radhika Roy who is the sister of CPI-M leader and pro-China voice Brinda Karat. CPI-M party was the only political party that had openly supported China in the 1962 war with India ansd till date has not issued an apology.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;General V.P. Malik (retd), who was the army chief during the Kargil war, in his memoirs Kargil — From Surprise to Victory, had written in his book that after the war was over, he mentioned to Barkha Dutt that she had let out clified information by pointing out that the army’s next objective would be Tiger Hill.”
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      Amar Akbar
      Nov 5, 2016 at 3:44 am
      The Barkha-Vir-Nira tapes have created a storm all over the country. The nation, already reeling under the spectrum scam, wherein an ex-minister is being openly accused of mive misappropriation of the public exchequer, received a far greater jolt with these tapes, wherein it was revealed that Barkha Dutt, the renowned and widely respected star reporter of NDTV was heard discussing with ‘consultant’ Nira Radia how to manite formation of the UPA cabinet in Delhi, specifically the DMK share of portfolios and berlt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Not one or two, but FIVE such tapes have so far come into the public realm (Transcripts links at end). There is at least one tape of a conversation between Vir Sanghvi, the authoritative and moralistic columnist of The Hindustan Times, with Nira Radia, and it is clearly about ‘fixing’ the cabinet, among other things.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Then there is an interesting conversation of ‘Mr Clean’ Ratan Tata talking about a business rival! All in all, an unedifying story of New Delhi’s corridors of power, which seem to move through five star corporate sleaze, official complicity, political connivance, and media collusion.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;- Theek hai, not a problem. That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad—I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR [Race Course Road, presumably, the PM’s residence] - Barkha Dutt, celebrated NDTV journalistlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;- 600 crores! It is hard to argue with that kind of pressure.... Basically what they want is a little bit more flexibility. One more Cabinet, I suppose - Vir Sanghvi, Executive Director, Hindustan Timeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Some of you might imagine what exactly these people are talking about. Well, as far as we can understand from the tapes, these words are being spoken by the high-priests of the India Media with Nira Radia, another renowned personality in her own way, about the formation of the Indian Cabinet in 2009, and the fixing of the berths and portfolios of a coalition ally fromlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;South India!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;‘The formation of the Indian Cabinet?’ – I hear you quip. “But what has that got to do with journalism?’lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Well, like traditional Mumbai ma films, our media-persons possibly also need to be some kind of potpourri – Jack of all trades, to put it kindly, though media itself tends to be mighty less charitable in disposing of the high and mighty who might cross its path to glory.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;In the tapes, Nira is heard talking to these two journalists about the composition of the Central government ministry, with special reference to the DMK. She requests these great persons to talk to influential people at the Centre to get particular members of the DMK inducted in the ministry. The two ure Nira they will do the needful. They bring up the names of some persons believed to be very powerful in the political structure and tell Nira they will do their best to help her out.
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        Porki Sunni
        Nov 5, 2016 at 3:53 am
        Oh, each time Ms. Dutt makes that “cut my teeth reporting the Kargil war” statement, I cringe. First you can read her selfless version here, which she would be happier if you read:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;...lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;But she skipped some nasty stuff:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;She carried a satellite phone in Kargil, which made her location traceable, an Iridium instrument. She was the only journalist with a sat-phone. Even army officers with sat-phones were not present in conflict zones.lt;br/gt;In the darkness, she is on Tiger Hill, the camera and light flips on, lady talks her talk from an obvious military location, and concludes with this is barkha butt reporting from 56 Brigade HQ. The stanis spotted the light and had a fix on the location.lt;br/gt;Five minutes after she leaves, artillery rain the place leaving an officer and 3 jawans martyred.
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          VP Joshi
          Nov 5, 2016 at 5:06 am
          Ask NDTV to make a large donation to army welfare fund by way of atonement!
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            Pucca ghati
            Nov 5, 2016 at 4:06 am
            BJP and Modi seem nervous of the Media are taking a cue from Indira's emergency days . Modi seems to forget he is there with our consent . NDTV is a know stani , Kashmiri Sunni Muslim sympathizer , it offers employment to Bengalis' preferably from Delhi , hates Maharashtra and Maharshtrians , all its correspondents only in this state are outsiders , everywhere else they are locals ; Barkha Dutta in the Kargil skirmish probably exposed the Army to Artillery just to get ahead in her career , she also peddled influence along with Vir Sangvi as part of the Nira Radia network of sleaze, this is in the transcripts , as such her antecedents need to be checked and she watched , she is also very close to the stanis , getting a Visa easily when others don't , an age old tactic of totalitarian states . That said the govt. should expose NDTV if it feels it is an ISI front . It is fairing very poorly financially so how is it sustaining itself ? where is the money coming from ? ISI , Chinese Communist Party. ISIS , Cong , who is behind it funding its losses ? look at whose causes it espouses . Srinivasan Jain's reporting could give us some clues . That said the Ban must go , it must go, but investigate the wide suion among the Indian people that NDTV is a front for our enemies .
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              Manu
              Nov 5, 2016 at 1:15 am
              It seems BharatK is w nation..
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                AMAR Akbar
                Nov 5, 2016 at 3:50 am
                The controversy revolves around recorded phone calls between a corporate lobbyist, Niira Radia, and a wide range of Delhi’s powerful elite. The calls, taped by tax investigators in May 2009, have exposed a sordid world of deal making and information brokering in India’s capital. Copies of the tapes were leaked to the news media and published two weeks ago.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;In the tapes, Ms. Dutt appears to offer to p messages between Ms. Radia, who appeared to be trying to get a politician suspected of corruption reappointed as telecommunications minister at the behest of her clients, and senior leaders of the Congress Party.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Some critics accused her of acting as a power broker, a charge she vehemently denied. Ms. Dutt says that she was simply stringing along a news source who had access to information on a fast-moving story, and that in any case she never ped on the messages.
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                  MyTake
                  Nov 5, 2016 at 5:16 am
                  In support of Govt. line and in response to opposition's call, people can make a promise not to watch NDTV for two days starting a day earlier!
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                    Vivek
                    Nov 5, 2016 at 1:12 am
                    Congress does not forget very soon that it had banned 16 news channels between 2012 and 2014. Than it was not killing of democracy, only when these anti national channels are banned they remember killing of democracy
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                      Abbiya
                      Nov 5, 2016 at 4:53 am
                      Whatever NDTV did. It is wrong. .they don't know india is democracy country. It is good punishment to it.because they know india was democracy country. .well done feku and company with chaddi gang.
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                        abhaykumar
                        Nov 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm
                        Even a 5 year old can tell you ndtv is a stani channel... totally of terrorist Hates ourarmy , kejriwal Rahul hi jdu mamata all want to help ndtv make India = stan , all you anti nationals and queen bee bark ha dirt should be banned
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                          abhaykumar
                          Nov 6, 2016 at 2:54 am
                          No one minds sagar u diinn go halal your father kejriwals pinkie
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                          1. V
                            vidya
                            Nov 5, 2016 at 3:01 am
                            Incessant NDTV tv grabs in the aftermath of Gujarat riots together with an allmost blankout of Godhra train carnage led to increased opportunity for jehadis to claim victimhood. They used these grabs to indoctrinate more jehadis who carried out more bomb blasts all over India. Such channels like the one in question with barely disguised anti-national agendas should be taught strong lessons. The cabal that provides them with covering fire better introspect.
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                              Gora Chatterjee
                              Nov 5, 2016 at 4:43 am
                              I lived through the emergency----- how even Rabindranath Tagore's poems were censored- though Indira hi was an ex-student of Santiniketan. Well, I, for lt;br/gt;myself, do not believe that emergency will not be imposed again. Mr.L.K. Advani also is having the same apprehension. Mussolini once said," We must have a Fascist Police: not policmen who are Fascist,but Fascists who are policemen" Modi government and itslt;br/gt;fringe elements, want to have not just a new media channel - but a channel of the Fascists, by the Fascists and for those people who are up to make India a Hindu state. Ban on NDTV must be withdrawn immediately.
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                              1. D
                                Debjit Mishra
                                Nov 5, 2016 at 3:53 am
                                Why to ban the channel when no one really see it? This is more of blackmail and money minting channel opposed to India unity.
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                                  Deeply Concerned
                                  Nov 5, 2016 at 10:02 am
                                  My Fellow Indians, braze yourself for Emergency and political murders on the lines of what Saddam Hussien or Gaddaffi were doing, soon as these s in BJP and RSS are testing NDTV ban and SIMI fake encounter as a precursor.
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                                    Deeply Concerned
                                    Nov 5, 2016 at 9:56 am
                                    People have decided to terminate BJP next elections and only paid trolls like you have to try harder
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      Deeply Concerned
                                      Nov 5, 2016 at 9:58 am
                                      When the people who are responsible for security go scotffree and when those intrlligent s who allowed ISI into Pathankot Airbase are scratching their b..ls and making rules of law so ridiculous
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                                      1. D
                                        Deeply Concerned
                                        Nov 5, 2016 at 9:54 am
                                        Why is Modi not cnesored for allowing ISI into the country??? Feku f..l
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                                        1. D
                                          DD
                                          Nov 5, 2016 at 3:18 am
                                          let off too easy.. they should have been banned for 1 week atleast and fined 100 cr..lt;br/gt;these pathetic media needs to be taught some responsibilty
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                                            Franky
                                            Nov 5, 2016 at 4:36 am
                                            Indian opposition the Modi Govt should rate them anti national and ask Marshall in both the houses of parlaiment to evict them.
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