Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao issued a stern warning to the media against mocking, insulting and demeaning self-respect and culture of an individual or Telangana State.
“If you demean our culture, you have no place here. I am saying this as Chief Minister,” he said responding to protest staged by a section of media persons who stood up holding placards at the Kaloji Centenary celebrations here at NIT auditorium on Tuesday.
Repeating the comments of a programme telecast by a vernacular television channel, he sought to know does it amounted to freedom of Press and culture? “You insult public representatives branding them as drunken monkeys, you describe them as lumpens and you call every name you like. What sort of freedom is it and what sort of culture is it?,” an emotional Mr. Rao sought to know.
The Telangana State did not ban the two television channels. The MLAs in the House passed a unanimous resolution seeking action against those channels and the decision is pending with the Speaker. The cable operators who expressed solidarity have blocked it for now. “If media crosses its limits, the government will not only ban but take other courses of action as well. If you cannot respect others and if you cannot become part of our Telangana culture, you have no place here,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Rao appealed to journalists to be fair while criticising the government. But the journalists should not take sides and support the Andhra capitalists who were out to demean the Telangana public representatives and Telangana culture. None would be spared if they resorted to mockery of Telangana State and culture, he warned. “We have not banned the channels but they are out creating furore all over. That is their strategy you see. Be careful, we will see your end if you cross your limits,” the Chief Minister blasted pointing at the protesting reporters.
A group of media persons tried to stall the proceedings of the Chief Minister at three places sporting placards, demanding lifting the ban on two television channels. They were rounded up by the police and taken to Subedari police station.