New Delhi, Nov 5: The day-long ban on the television news channel–NDTV India–by the government over its Pathankot attack coverage drew sharp criticism from opposition political parties and several senior journalists on Friday.
The ban is effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November to 00:01 hrs of 10th November, says a statement by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Those who opposed the ban called it “shocking and authoritarian” and reminiscent of Emergency days.
However, more than a month ago, a Kashmiri daily was banned by the state government and the suppression on the newspaper is still on.
On October 2, the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered a ban on the publication of the Srinagar-based English daily, Kashmir Reader.
The ban order issued by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone said that the newspaper contains “material and content which tends to incite acts of violence and disturb public peace and tranquility”. An official release issued by the Director Information Chowdhary said the ban order was issued a week after a notice was served to the newspaper, asking it to explain its position on a series of stories published by it.
In the wake of the ongoing turmoil in the Valley, the local media alleges that the state government is curbing its “freedom of expression”.
In July, the state government banned the publication of newspapers from valley for several days terming it a “reluctant decision” and a “temporary measure to address an extra-ordinary situation”.
The Valley is on the boil in the wake of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
Mir Hilal, the editor of Kashmir Reader, which first hit the stands on May 15, 2012, said Kashmiri journalism, heroic largely, has not been demoralised but intimidated quite often.
In an article written by Hilal, the editor added, “In Kashmir, therefore, developing a strong awareness of “caution” is part of the journalistic grooming. It is a gradual drawing up of a Lakshman Rekha in one’s mind. During the past month we have been asked, ad nauseam: Were you not cautious enough? It translates into “why push the limit”. Many concerned and well-meaning journalists made us feel as if we had invited the ban on ourselves. Not that they condone the gag. They only point to the futility, or stupidity, of “annoying the state”.”
Kamayani Bali – Mahabal – A Kractivist with Multiple Personality Disorder ( MPD) which encompasses a clinical psychologist, journalist, lawyer and activist.
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