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The Media Will Not “Crawl” Ever Again, Cry Voices Against Media Oppression



The Media Will Not “Crawl” Ever Again, Cry Voices Against Media Oppression

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The protest meeting on press freedom at Press Club of India on Friday, June 9 turned out to be a mega affair, where the top media personalities of the country lashed out at not just the CBI raids on NDTV, but on the atmosphere of suppression prevailing in the country.

Prominent among those at the meeting included veteran journalists Kuldip Nayyar, Arun Shourie, HK Dua, Prannoy Roy and eminent jurist Fali S Nariman. Journalists at the meeting agreed that silence was not an option today and the media should not again “crawl”, the term used by LK Advani for its approach during Indira Gandhi’s time.

Referring to attempts to curb media freedom and suppress free speech, eminent jurist Fali S Nariman, said: “Freedom after speech is what freedom of speech is all about.”  He said no one was immune from being prosecuted under a criminal offence, “but the manner, circumstances give me reason to believe all of this is unjustified attack on press and media freedom”.

“On June 2, an FIR is lodged by the CBI, seven years after the event… Not on any discovery of its own, but information supplied by one individual Sanjay Dutt… Why was it not brought to light earlier was not mentioned earlier in the complaint? The CBI did not bother to find out,” said Nariman.

“The first thing the CBI is expected to do, once such a complaint is filed, is seek NDTV’s response. But that wasn’t done. When any government agency files a complaint against a media company, it must first enquire from the owners what they have to say in the matter before conducting raids… This is not a matter of courtesy or favour, but a constitutional duty,” he added.

He drew attention to the context and the purported trigger for CBI’s action. “It is important to mark the events preceding the letter and raids. On June 1, when Sanjay Hazarika was speaking on an NDTV show, Sambit Patra interrupted and said: ‘I interrupt people only on NDTV, and I need to do that because NDTV has an agenda.’ It was after these allegations by Patra that the offices and residences were raided,” he said.

“There were similar attacks on the media under Mrs Indira Gandhi. About 120 criminal complaints were filed against the Indian Express for not filing returns. Ultimately, we won in the Supreme Court… Whenever there is a majoritarian government, there is this tendency. We must resist it,” said Nariman.

One after the other a number of leading personalities flayed the government for suppressing media freedom:

Kuldip Nayar (Senior Journalist): “During the Emergency, nobody had to tell anybody what to do. Everybody knew what to do… The Indian Express became the symbol at the time… Today, when we are facing more or less the same situation – not to that extent – all of us have to ensure we don’t allow anybody to muzzle free speech. Press is the foundation of democracy. Idea of India is democratic and secular. Let us commit ourselves to the idea of India.”

Arun Shourie (Former Minister, and former editor) said, “I must express deep gratitude to Narendra Modi. He has brought so many friends together… I have a couplet for him: ‘He who was occupying this throne before you. He also had a similar belief that he was God.’ First they used incentives like ads, then a subterranean atmosphere of fear. Now, they are using a third instrument of overt pressure. They have made NDTV an example of that. This will intensify in the coming months because of the nature of the regime – its genes are totalitarian.”

“Anybody who has tried to lay a hand on the press in India, has had their hand burnt… The CBI has not been able to answer the facts put out by NDTV. There is even an article on The Wire. The facts are irrefutable…,” said Shourie.

Addressing journalists, he said, “You must help your friend because they will try to divide. Do not become instruments… Nothing demoralises more than not having the support of the peers. I have seen this in civil service… It is my grievance against my colleagues in the press that we haven’t been as vigilant as we should have been… It is very sad we have not reacted the way we should to the choking of the RTI.

“Raj (Kamal Jha, Editor, The Indian Express) told me almost all RTI applications of the Indian Express are being rejected these days. Only in appeal stages do they get access,” he said.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s penchant for social media, Shourie said, “Narendra Modi has a whole team in his office led by a boy called Hiren Joshi who keeps a watch on social media. That is his weakness… You must raise your voice on social media…”

Talking about the pliant media organisations, he said, “Some people think by giving ministers air time, they will have protection during a crisis. But this is not true… This government is not a government of ministers. Yeh dhai aadmio ki Sarkar hai… During the Defamation Bill struggle, we effectively used boycott as a useful approach against Rajiv Gandhi’s ministers… Thatcher said publicity is the oxygen of terrorists. I say it is also of ministers… Every time something inconvenient happens, the government tries to distract the attention. Don’t become instruments of distracting your readers and viewers.

“Redouble the work that is annoying the government. We have only three protections: our solidarity, the court, the protection of our own readers and viewers. One day people will understand the difference between what the government advertises and what it does on the ground. And that is the reason why it suppresses all dissenting voices. We should stand up against every attempt at suppression of the media anywhere in the country. Report any attempt by the government to undermine the judiciary,” said Shourie.

HK Dua (Journalist, Former Rajya Sabha Member): “Last time, most of the press community did not stand up. They crawled, as Advani famously said. Then came the defamation bill. We got together, it became a national movement. Rajiv Gandhi sought talks but we refused. The unity of the press won the battle. The bill had to be withdrawn as the people were against it. Similar signs are visible now… This is a wake-up call, we have to be vigilant and cautious of such attacks.”


Aroon Purie (Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group): (The message sent by him was read out ay the meeting) “I strongly believe the freedom of the media is inviolable in a democracy… Such a move also undermines basic tenets of free speech.”


Shekhar Gupta (Senior Journalist): “It is one of those times when we have to forget our organisational and institutional affiliations. This is an issue that concerns the mother of all our institutions – the free press. This is an assault on the free press… Please stop self-flagellating. Social media got us all disoriented.

“Per capita there are far better people in journalism than other professions… Nobody is a presstitute. Don’t get intimidated by this storm of abuse… When the IE was being bombarded by cases, Ramnath Goenka’s response to all cases was, ‘What difference does it make? We have broken all laws except murder.’ I hope NDTV will continue to do what it is doing. Our job is to speak truth to power. Too many of us have become megaphones for power.”


Om Thanvi (Senior Journalist): “If the media is not united today, this can happen to anybody… What has happened is not new. It has happened a lot during the Congress days, Atalji’s days… When Modi government completed 3 years, Ravish Kumar did an entire show to call out their lies… The time to fight has come. And journalists should fight by themselves.”


Prannoy Roy (Co-Founder, NDTV) started by saying that he was forced by his wife, Radhika Roy, “the boss at work and at home” to participate in the meeting. He said, “We are here today because of these gentlemen. We grow in their shadow.” Talking about the freedom Indian media had enjoyed,  he said, “Once I went to China, they asked me aren’t you a bit jealous of our skyscrapers? I said we have the best skyscraper: free space.”

Talking about the CBI raids on his premises, he said, “This is not just a flimsy case against NDTV. It is a signal to all of us: we can suppress you even if you haven’t done anything… Free press is the best thing about India. Their message is: crawl, or we’ll come for you. I say: Stand up and they’ll never do.

“We are not fighting the agencies. They are institutions of India. But it is the politicians. The officials tell us why they have to do this… Our fight is also not against Sanjay Dutt (the person whose complaint was basis for the CBI case). He is also a tool and a person being used… Sanjay Dutt’s mother is a wonderful human being. She called five of us together, including Sanjay. She said, ‘Beta, these are good people. You have made a mistake. Fix your mistake. When I pray, I pray more for them than for you’.

“Please don’t believe there cannot be smoke without fire. Politicians can make smoke without fire… I am ashamed of our politicians that we can make such allegations (GE money laundering)… We will answer to all charges. We only request for a time-bound charges… In three years, the government has requested for 21 adjournments…” Getting emotional, he said, “I commit to you here Radhika, I, NDTV have never touched one rupee of black money, have never bribed any official… I want to say we will die knowing we have never touched black money and most importantly we will live happily ever after.”

Rajdeep Sardesai (Senior Journalist) said. “I believe in the present atmosphere, silence is not an option… we have to be on the right side of history.”

Raj Chengappa (Senior Journalist): “We are deeply concerned of what has happened. Any attack or raid is a serious threat particularly if residences and offices are being raided in such a manner.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

UP women fight over garage space; video goes viral | Watch

Over 47,000 people have seen the video since it has been uploaded. People are giving different reactions to the video.



women fight

With vehicles increasing on the road day by day, it is obvious that space to park them becomes scant. In a video which is going viral, two women from Uttar Pradesh can be seen arguing and attacking each other over what both claim as their garage space.

The woman, who made the video and posted it on social media, can be seen charging the other slightly elderly woman and her husband for using his position to grab the space paid for by the woman making the video.

The video begins with a handyman who is seen breaking the lock of a caged garage space and the woman shooting it can be heard saying she had it built herself. She then threatens the elderly woman that she will post the footage on social media, but the elder woman nor the handymen seem particularly alarmed by it.

When things turn violent, the elderly woman throws broken lock away. The other woman tries to prevent her from doing so and ends up grabbing the elder woman by her neck. The recording ends when the elder woman retaliates by slapping the younger woman several times, leading to her phone falling.

Over 47,000 people have seen the video since it has been uploaded. People are giving different reactions to the video. One user said these are common things in small towns and cities, another said the last slap on the phone was hilarious while others were dropping laughing emojis on it. 

However, these days, such videos showing violence between women have become common on social media. A few days ago, a video from Delhi Metro went viral where two young women got into a heated argument which quickly turned into a fistfight.

The women can be seen preparing for the fight by setting aside their phones as the video begins with one of them taking off her sneaker and brandishing it like a weapon. Other passengers can be heard begging them not to fight.

Parking-related arguments and fights have snatched many lives in the Delhi National Capital Region. Luckily in this video, the violence did not reach such fatal ends.

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India News

Bail too late: 62-year-old man gets relief on humanitarian grounds 2 days after he’s dead

A shocking case has emerged in Mumbai, Maharashtra. A Mumbai court granted bail to an accused two days after his death.



Court (Representative image)

A Mumbai real estate agent, who had been in jail since December 2021 for selling property with fake documents, has been granted bail but unfortunately Suresh Pawar had died two days before the relief was granted.

The accused had been in jail since December 31, 2021 and had requested six-month temporary bail due to health concerns. Though the hearing on his bail application was completed on May 9 when he was alive, the bail order came two days after his death.

The court granted him temporary bail on humanitarian grounds, looking at his age, medical complications, and further need for medical care.

As per the bail application, he was severely diabetic and was experiencing several age-related ailments. In February, he suffered a toe injury and was taken to JJ Hospital, where he was discharged from. However, he had claimed he needed to have the toe amputated since it had turned gangrenous. His lawyer had moved the plea so that he could undergone treatment at a private hospital.

In March, the Bombay High Court gave directions to jail authorities to provide proper medical treatment, after which he withdrew his bail application from the High Court on April 19.

On the same day, Pawar’s health condition deteriorated, and he was again admitted to JJ Hospital, but due to inappropriate medical treatment, his injury became septic, and his leg below the knee necessarily required to be amputated.

Later, he developed a lung infection and sought temporary bail for a six-month period to avail himself of proper medical treatment.

The prosecution and opponent opposed his plea, arguing that he was being provided with enough medical care at JJ Hospital.

The death of Suresh Pawar will not provoke a thousand searing editorials but is scathing on the apathy and the callousness the State metes out to citizens, even if accused of crime.

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India News

Boy buys sanitary pad for fellow student after she gets unexpected period in class, netizens praise boy

The act of goodwill by young boy indicates his bringing and parenting. It is reminder that empathy has no boundaries. This generation needs more people like him who break the myth and orthodox rooted in the society.



Boy buys pad for fellow classmate

A girl’s tweet is going viral on the internet where she described how a boy in her institute went the extra mile to help her after she unexpectedly got her period in class. He offered help by breaking all traditional taboos, went to the shop with the girl and got her the pad and an ice cream for her. She showed her love for the city and its people. Many people praised this simple act of generosity, a small kind act that can bring positive impact on people at large in our society.

The post got many positive reactions. People were impressed with the young boy’s gesture and also they were glad to witness such change in the surroundings. Good people are everywhere, they need to be recognized. Another person stated, the good thing about social media is that more people are getting aware about the problem faces by women. Such people has always kept the society’s soul alive, they make it a safe place for women.   

The act of goodwill by the boy indicates his bringing and parenting. It is a reminder that empathy has no boundaries. This generation needs more people like him who break the myth and orthodox roots embedded into them by society. To make society more healthy and inclusive for everyone, we need more courageous people to take steps forward to break the social stigma.

There have been several myths attached to the menstrual cycle in India. The concept of purity and impurity dates to Vedic times. Living in the 21st century, it is important for us to understand that there is nothing pure or impure about periods. It is the male-dominated society and institution that determines whether something is pure or impure and moulds it into an unquestionable and unchallenged object of belief. The so-called dirty menstrual flow which supposedly makes women impure is scientifically linked with procreation. The blood and tissue that a woman’s body evicts are not utilized by the body. Menstrual flow is as impure or pure as blood flowing through a non-menstruating man’s arteries and veins.

Given the immense impacts in a girl’s life that occurs with puberty, it is critical to invest in women’s education as a means of influencing young girls, shifting discriminatory norms and debunking these myths. As women don’t live in isolation, it is also crucial to educate men and boys as their silence legalizes and reinforces period myths. In short, to address the issue more holistically, multidimensional approaches are required to connect physical infrastructure, sanitation projects, health education and reproductive health programmes.

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