oppn parties Attempts To Muzzle The Media Will Backfire

News Snippets

  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Attempts To Muzzle The Media Will Backfire

By Sunil Garodia

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.