Criticism on NDTV India ban ill-informed, says Venkaiah Naidu

Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu at a function in Chennai on Saturday.  

The criticism of the action proposed to be taken against NDTV India is ill-informed and politically inspired, said Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai on Saturday.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of a function, Mr. Naidu said such reactions that came a day after the government’s decision suggested a motivated design to create a controversy.

“Effective self-regulation by media is the best way of protecting its freedom and we are committed to it. Freedom is best upheld when its value is fully appreciated. In this case the much-valued freedom was not put to best use by NDTV India,” Mr. Naidu said.

Pointing to a “minority who are critical of whatever the government does in the best interests of the country”, Mr. Naidu said the people of the country were broadly with the decision in the matter of NDTV India.

“People of the country should know that the UPA government, during 2005-14, ordered several television channels to go off air in 21 instances, for a period ranging from one day to two months for showing obscene visuals including 13 cases of telecasting adult-rated films when most of the children and the young would have been fast asleep. People of the country are also wise enough to appreciate which of the two violations — showing obscene visuals at the stroke of midnight and risking the lives of defence personnel and civilians through a live telecast of anti-terrorist operations in broad daylight — is a serious threat to the interest of the nation,” Mr. Naidu said.

“The decision against NDTV India was not based on any newly-invented rule and principle. The ground on which action has been proposed against NDTV India was only a logical conclusion of concerns clearly articulated by the UPA government in various advisories issued after the 26/11 terror attacks,” the Minister said.

“In those advisories issued by the UPA government, all news and current affairs TV channels were clearly asked to exercise restraint, maturity and sensitivity while reporting anti-terrorist operations in the larger interest of safety and security of security forces involved in such operations and civilians,” he added.

Claiming that the Inter-Ministerial Committee that recommended action against NDTV India did so after duly acknowledging the instant reach and power of television, Mr. Naidu said the committee recommended suspension of telecast “just for one day as a token, so the said channel cannot get away completely for being even unrepentant in the matter”.

“The BJP and the NDA government have the highest regard for media and freedom of media and will never allow any infringement of it,” said Mr. Naidu.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:12:59 AM |

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