oppn parties Attempts To Muzzle The Media Will Backfire

News Snippets

  • Government planning a loan mela to cover 400 districts in two phases
  • PM Modi says Kashmiris need a hug from all Indians
  • NPA tag will not be put on any MSME till March 20
  • Government likely to announce another economic stimulus package today ahead of the GST Council meet in Goa
  • Air Marshall RKS Bhadauria, slated to retire just a few days from now, to be the next chief of IAF
  • PM Modi slams politicians from his own party who are making irresponsible statements on the Ayodhya case and tells them to wait for the Supreme Court order
  • Telecom panel says resident welfare associations (RWA) cannot give monopoly access to any one service provider and infrastructure in public spaces and residential complexes will have to be shared by all
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, tells him there is no need for an NRC in Bengal
  • After 14 days, there is no hope left for reviving Vikram, the moon lander
  • CBI teams search for elusive Rajeev Kumar
  • Union minister Babul Supriyo assaulted at Jadavpur University
  • West Bengal governor's convoy not allowed to enter Jadavpur University following a blockade by Left students' union
  • ABVP supporters create ruckus at Jadavpur University in Kolkata
  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
Government announces cuts in corporate income tax, stock markets welcome the decision with a massive jump
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.