May 27, 2024

Moon Desk: In a statement, the alliance said that the “fresh attack on the media” compromises India’s global standing as a mature democracy. “Ironically, the BJP government is paralyzed when it comes to taking action against those journalists inciting hatred and divisiveness in the nation. In the national interest, it would behoove the BJP Government to focus on genuine issues of concern to the nation and the people, and stop attacking the media to distract attention from its failures,” the statement says.

On Tuesday morning, the Delhi police raided the homes of several journalists and commentators associated with NewsClick in connection with a case under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The case was registered in connection with a New York Times report about an American millionaire who allegedly worked closely with the Chinese government to finance its propaganda worldwide. Subsequently, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey cited the report in the Lok Sabha to claim that Congress leaders and NewsClick had received funds from China to create an “anti-India” atmosphere.

The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) parties strongly condemn the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s fresh attack on the media. We steadfastly stand with the media and for the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and expression.

In the last nine years, the BJP government has deliberately persecuted and suppressed the media by deploying investigative agencies to suppress the British Broadcasting Corporation, Newslaundry, Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar, the Kashmir Walla, The Wire etc., and most recently the journalists of NewsClick. The BJP government has also tried to convert the media into a mouthpiece for its partisan and ideological interests by facilitating the takeover of media organisations by crony capitalists. Both the government and its ideologically aligned organisations have resorted to reprisals against individual journalists who spoke truth to power. Furthermore, the BJP government has also spearheaded regressive policies like the Information Technology Rules 2021 that constrict the media from reporting objectively. In doing so, the BJP is not only hiding its sins of omission and commission from the people of India. It is also compromising India’s global standing as a mature democracy.

The BJP government’s coercive actions are invariably directed against only those media organisations and journalists that speak truth to power. Ironically, the BJP government is paralysed when it comes to taking action against those journalists inciting hatred and divisiveness in the nation. In the national interest, it would behove the BJP Government to focus on genuine issues of concern to the nation and the people, and stop attacking the media to distract attention from its failures.

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