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Narendra Modi joins war over DD interview, rues decline in press freedom

Modi did not forget to remind of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi when curbs were placed on media.

By: Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad | Published: May 3, 2014 1:53 pm

Escalating further the controversy over his interview to Doordarshan, Narendra Modi on Saturday rued the “decline” in journalistic freedom in the public broadcaster and invoked “horrific” memories of the Emergency days in 1975.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate joined the war over Prasar Bharti editing out certain portions of his interview last Sunday and the subsequent raging controversy that it stoked by the “delayed” telecast.

“On days such as this, I feel very sad to see our national TV channel struggling to maintain its professional freedom,” Modi said on Twitter while extending his wishes to journalists on the World Press Freedom Day observed on Saturday.

Modi did not forget to remind the people of the Emergency imposed by the late Indira Gandhi in 1975 when curbs were placed on the media.

“We have witnessed the horrors of Emergency when freedom of press and freedom of expression were suppressed. It is a blot on our democracy,” Modi said in another tweet.

“Greetings to journalists friends on World Press Freedom Day. Free press is a democracy’s cornerstone and must be preserved in letter and spirit,” he said.

A controversy erupted yesterday following news reports that Modi had said that Priyanka Gandhi was like his daughter, remarks that were neither appreciated by her nor by Congress leaders. However, it turned out that Modi had not made any such description.

The other issue related to his remarks claiming closeness with Ahmed Patel, close aide of Sonia Gandhi. Patel issued a strong rebuttal of these claims. Modi’s remarks on these subjects in the interview were edited out but became public through the social media.

While Congress leader Rashid Alvi said a “big fuss” was being made of the issue which relates to editorial freedom while some other commentators have accused both the BJP and the Congress of misusing Doordarshan whenever opportunities came.

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  1. Joseph R Stephen
    May 3, 2014 at 11:39 am
    Modi can become one of the best actors country has seen.what rights BJP gave to DD when NDA ruled the country
    1. Prathap Valiavalappil V P
      May 3, 2014 at 11:33 am
      Journalistic freedom will be given all paid writers and anchors. People are worried aboout journalistic freedom only for doordarshan and all India radio. Not worried about the paid channels. Freedom is with the channel owners to write according to the payment they recieved. The debates in many channels are like ipl fixed matches where anchor fix it up. .
      1. Rajendra Patel
        May 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm
        1. S
          May 3, 2014 at 9:57 am
          ms vadra aka priyanka vadra & congress are so desperate to project themself alternative to narendra modi of bjp , that know they are taking help of prasar bharti aka doordarshan to the same... narendra modi has never said priyanka is like a daughter... he says priyanka is reacting because she is daughter & sister & it is her duty to protect family... but congress with the help of prachaar bharti right not prasar bharti as it is now become tool of congress false propoa....against narendra ,modi as they are deliberately edited the interview of narendra modi.. as to show priyanka is like his daughter shame on congress, shame on prasaar bharti ,shame to doordarshan ,shame to priyanka hi as know she has been exposed as the big liar.. who keep quiet regarding her husband robert vadera scam , scam on her party in telecome, coal and many other..it is evident that why amethi & raebareli were kept poor district ,, because these hi family know once the people over their became educated they will start to question about job eduction & infrastructure & electricity to hi family.. so deliberately these hi wheter rahul or sonia or more recent priyanka vadera hi..are know making false propana against narendra modi
          1. C
            May 3, 2014 at 10:49 am
            People do not doubt Rahul's ertion that he would stay in Amethi but what use? Do we continue to have moon's crater near Amethi with nearly 30 years of Nehru family's win there? When Congress ministers can send their children abroad for studies since local education is unsatisfactory, when will Amethi have presentable schools? Only personal criticism would not help.
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