Swaraj Abhiyan condemns central government ban on NDTV

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Swaraj Abhiyan on Friday condemned the central government’s decision to ban NDTV India for a day “on flimsy grounds” and said it is another step in the direction of emergency-style censorship of the media in the country.

The newly-launched party, in a statement, said it was the Narendra Modi government’s attempt to muzzle the few independent voices in the media. It is no secret that the present government has used its might to curb any independent institution ever since it has come to power, it observed.

“It is including threatening the CAG, appointing dummies in constitutional bodies like CVC, universities and educational institutions. Now this government has started targeting judiciary and media, banning NDTV, one of the most responsible channels,” the statement said.

It said banning NDTV is a clear indication that the present government is intolerant to any independent voices. “The message is loud and clear — either fall in line, or get muzzled.”

However, it is heartening to see that the Editors’ guild stands firm by NDTV and is questioning the government on its unholy intent of subverting press freedom, Swaraj Abhiyan said.

“As it is, the reason cited for ban on NDTV is flimsy, since NDTV had aired what was already in public domain through print coverage and other media coverage on the Pathankot episode,” it said.

It is indeed a matter of concern that the government overstepped its authority, by-passed any judicial interventions and has passed a judgement despite a clarification by the media house on a show-cause notice, Swaraj Abhiyan alleged.

Swaraj Abhiyan stands by Editors’ Guild as it demands that the ban on NDTV be revoked immediately.

“We call upon all media houses, civil organisations and citizen’s movements to stand against such efforts by the central government that threaten our fundamental rights and are aimed at arm-twisting,” the statement added.