oppn parties Attempts To Muzzle The Media Will Backfire

News Snippets

  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: 773 new cases and 32 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports the health ministry
oppn parties
Attempts To Muzzle The Media Will Backfire

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-10-12 13:29:54

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is a matter of grave concern that the government is indulging in vendetta against media houses critical of its policies. The I-T department raid on the home and offices of Raghav Bahl, owner of The Quint and minority shareholder of The News Minute is another instance of the administration trying to browbeat a critic into submission. Before this, NDTV was similarly targeted. These media houses are neither pamphleteers nor are they purveyors of fake news.

This is not to say that media houses are above the law. If any discrepancies are discovered in returns filed or if any wrongdoing is reported, all government departments are free to question them. But raiding the premises where business secrets (media survives on scoops, remember) are stored, that too in the absence of the owner, is not the right way to go about it.

The action must be condemned strongly. The government must desist from undertaking such blatantly questionable decisions. If Raghav Bahl is suspected to have suppressed taxes, send him a notice, or multiple notices, and let him reply. Ask for all relevant documents. If the answers are unsatisfactory and if there is reason to believe that evidence might be destroyed, then and only then should raids be conducted.

But in this case, the premises were raided without telling the taxpayer about the alleged discrepancies or wrongdoings. This is obviously a case of putting pressure on the media so that they turn into yes-men. The government must shed the attitude that no one has the right to criticize it. More than half of India did not vote for the NDA. They got to Delhi just because of the first past the post system. Hence, they cannot suppress the voice of the people or the media.