oppn parties Kashmir Journalists Threatened, Asked To "Draw A Line"

News Snippets

  • 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
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Kashmir Journalists Threatened, Asked To "Draw A Line"

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.
How can a legislator issue such open threats to the media and escape censure? Choudhary Lal Singh’s chilling warning to journalists working in the Kashmir valley is part of a larger design where politicians – elected and even petty local ones – cannot digest the truth and want the media to report on issues is a way that is favourable to the ruling party. There are reports that ‘bad’ news is being blacked out in Tamil Nadu. This discomfort with truth runs across party lines and no politician worth his salt is able to digest truthful reporting. But Singh’s warning was a brazen attempt to browbeat the media into submission and cannot be tolerated.

The least the BJP could do was to verify his remarks and suspend him immediately. By not doing so, the party has unwittingly – or maybe knowingly – sent a signal that unfavourable reporting, even if it presents the truth before the readers, will not be tolerated. This is a dangerous trend. Journalists in Kashmir are working under constant threats. They are doing a wonderful job of being impartial and sending true reports from the ground. Some amount of personal bias may creep in at times but that is true of most reporting. That does not mean that they are twisting facts or targeting the BJP or the central government.

With J&K under governor’s rule now and the security forces having been given unlimited powers, it is all the more necessary to have a free and fearless press report on operations. For, unfortunately, there are some in the security forces who transgress their boundaries and indulge in excesses. The presence of media and the fear of exposure will keep a check on these elements. In these troubled times in the state, it is needed that the media is allowed to work efficiently and fearlessly. Hence, the BJP should immediately suspend Choudhary Lal Singh from primary membership of the party and issue an official statement that threats to the media will not be tolerated.