The NDA Government’s ban order on the hindi news Channel- NDTV, was greeted with a chorus of protests from the opposition leaders and as well as media bodies like the Editors’ Guild and the Broadcast Editors’ Association of India (BEA). The inter-ministerial committee of I&B ministry has asked the channel to go off air on November 9, for allegedly jeopardizing national security while covering the terror attack on Pathankot airbase in January.
Opposition leaders — from Rahul Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal — accused the government of being authoritarian; some even compared it to the days of emergency.
Amid the wide condemnation of a one-day ban on NDTV India, the government has justified the action and cited it necessary in the interest of national security and safety.
Media definitely has a responsibility on its shoulders and it should act wisely when dealing with sensitive issues. The time has come when some introspection by the Indian media is required. The politicians, who are accusing the government of being authoritarian, would have been the first ones to seek a ban on the channel; had they themselves been in the terror attack zone or god forbid had their closed ones been in such a situation. Was it necessary for the channel to give out sensitive information about the Pathankot air base when the terrorists were still inside? Was it necessary to disclose the presence of fuel depots, ammunition depots- also that it has weapons like rocket launchers?
This is a welcome step and will definitely act as a deterrent for other news channels. It is important for all to understand that nation comes first and there will be no compromise when the question is of national security. The politicians who oppose this ban are simply not concerned about national security. There are no personal motives to ban the news channel, it’s a single day ban- we should be happy the government is serious about the safety of its citizens. We can just hope that the media understands their responsibility and in situations similar to Pathankot attacks; they do not give out any sensitive info.
It sends shiver down my spine to imagine the scenario had the information was picked up by the terrorists at Pathankot Airbase. The Damage and loss of lives would be catastrophic.
Many people, not only those in authority but even ordinary people, have started saying that the media have become irresponsible and wayward, and need to be reined in.
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