oppn parties Raid On Asianet: Left Or Right, They Are The Same

News Snippets

  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, referring to a spate of FIRs for putting up posters in Delhi which said "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao", said that even the British did not act in such manner
  • The 2023-24 Appropriation BIll, which allows the government to spend Rs 45 lakh crore in the fiscal, was passed by Lok Sabha in 9 minutes without any discussion
  • Sources say that Amritpal Singh fled to Haryana and may now be in Uttarakhand
  • Experts say that Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament will kick in immediately as the conviction has not been stayed
  • Tatas to invest $2bn in super app Tata Neu
  • Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran has said that inflation will drop as commodity and food prices have fallen
  • Government will define quality norms to ensure better 5G service
  • Stocks tumble again on Thursday after two sessions of recovery: Sensex loses 289 points to 57925 and Nifty goes down by 75 points to 17076
  • Amicus curiae and senior advocate K V Vishwanathan has told the Supreme Court that the changes made in law and three extensions given to the present director of Enforcement Directorate are illegal and will imperil the integrity of the agency
  • Supreme Court says it cannot judicially direct the government to acquire land or buildings near the court for advocates' chambers
  • ISSF Cup shooting: Indian pair of Rhythm Sangwan and Varun Tomar win silver in 10m sir rifle mixed team event
  • WPL: UP Warriorz take on Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator today. The winner will play Delhi Capitals in the finals
  • World Boxing: Four Indians - Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Lovelina Borgohain and Saweety Boora - enter the frinals in their respective category
  • Bombay HC imposes costs and dismisses a petition by a housing society that sought to have a community-wise cap on residents
  • Delhi Police files 159 FIRs for defacement of public property and 49 for posters saying 'Modi Hatao Desh Bachao'
Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament, Wayanad Lok Sabha seat declared vacant
oppn parties
Raid On Asianet: Left Or Right, They Are The Same

By Our Editorial Team
First publised on 2023-03-10 06:46:35

About the Author

Sunil Garodia The India Commentary view

Governments, whether of the Right, the Left or the Centre, have a pet peeve - the media. This stems from the fact that governments cannot tolerate criticism and instead of viewing the media as the fourth pillar of democracy, view it as an adversary. Close on the heels of the Centre's action against the BBC for producing the documentary on the Gujarat riots that criticized the then Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi, the Kerala police raided the offices of Asianet, a regional news channel in Kerala that is often critical of the Left front government in the state. While the Left had criticized the Modi government action against BBC, it is clear it was looking for an opportunity to move against Asianet.

The 'opportunity' was provided by a CPM-supported independent legislator in the state assembly who lodged a complaint alleging that the news channel was publishing misleading information in a case of child abuse. Before the police action, activists of SFI, the student's wing of the CPM, had stormed into the channels offices and indulged in acts of vandalism. Clearly, the twin acts were not to take action against the channel for publishing misleading reports - they were to intimidate the media and let Asianet know that criticism of the government will not be tolerated and more such actions, on real or perceived 'grievances', will follow if it did not bend.

If the channel had transgressed, the law provides for many sections under which it can be prosecuted and penalized. But vandalism and police raids are not legal action, they are intimidation. With executive overreach being the norm in these times, the courts and the media have become the only forums that the citizens can turn to in times of distress. The Left government in Kerala had also sought to amend the Kerala Police Act in 2020 to curtail freedom of speech and browbeat the media. The order was withdrawn after protests. While the Leftist parties take pains to show that they are pro-people and respect democratic institutions, when it comes to the crunch, in some matters they are no different than the BJP, the party they love to hate.