Bhopal: A large number of journalists, representing the print, television and online media, today met in the State capital and passed a resolution to condemn the decision of the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to impose a one-day ban on NDTV India.
The Bhopal journalists were unanimous in pointing out that they see the ban on NDTV India as an attack on freedom of expression. The media-persons, more than 100 of them who gathered here this afternoon to discuss the NDTV India related development, have decided to wear black bands as a mark of protest till November 9, the day set for NDTV India to go off air.
The Bhopal journalists today announced that they were forming a group that would be known as “Friends of Free Media”. Its charter is to build solidarity and protect the journalists’ rights.
Mumbai Press Club has reacted sharply and said in a statement that the ban against “a specific TV channel that has been critical of the government, and has done serious ground reporting on the views of the common man, does not augur well for freedom of expression of the country.”
Editors Guild of India and the Broadcast Editors Association have described the ban as :harsh censorship and asked the Government to withdraw the ban imposed on NDTV India.
Srinagar: There is tension following last week’s clash between local and non-local students and use of brute force by the police on the protesting non-Kashmiri students inside the campus of National Institute technology (NIT) in Sinagar on Tuesday.
A two member team from the Union HRD Ministry arrived at NIT, srinagar to conduct a probe. The Union Home Ministry is also monitoring the situation.
There is a general view that the violent lathi charge by Srinagar Police on hapless “non-Kashmiri” students who were protesting peacefully for the pride of the nation on the National Institute of Technology campus in the capital of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday should rattle the sensibilities of the citizens across India. The use of brute force by the Police against the non-local NIT students protesting to uphold the nationalist spirit acquires serious dimension as the Police action came immediately after the formation of the PDP-BJP Government in Jammu and Kashmir led by Mehbooba Mufti
There are posts on youtube demonstrating audio-visually how dozens of lathi (baton) wielding cops had chased the students. They were targeted one by one and beaten up mercilessly. Some of these students are lying in hospital with broken bones and their academic schedule has been derailed.
The non-local students of NIT at Srinagar told media that they were targeted by the Police when they came out of the campus on Tuesday evening. These students had decided to boycott their classes following a clash with Kashmiri students last Thursday, (March 31). It was triggered after the local students had burst crackers to celebrate the victory of West Indies against India in the T20 Cricket World Cup semi-final match.
The Non-Kashmirir students have alleged that they had received threats of dire consequences and were being intimidated by the kashmiri students and also some teachers and workers of the canteen on the campus after they had protested against bursing of crackers on India’s defeat in the cricket match against West Indies.
On April 1 (Friday), there was a major clash between the local and non-Kashmiri students of NIT. That day both sides shouted slogans. while the non-locals chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai (victory for Mother India), and Pakistan Murdabad (Down with Pakistan), the locals shouted “Hum kya Chahte Azadi” (what we want is freedom).
It is reported from Jammu that A group of parents of students from Jammu studying in NIT Srinagar today staged protest demanding immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of their wards. Thy carried placards and asked J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to intervene describing the matter as very serious. They have also expressed their lack of faith in the local police and demanded that central security force personnel should be posted at NIT Srinagar.
The non-local students are asking for a temple inside the NIT Srinagar campus, hoisting of tri-colour on main gate and better security.
Kakinada : Kapu community stoked the quota issue and raked it up into violent protest by setting ablaze half a dozen of train bogies and a couple of police stations on fire. The event took place on Sunday as, an agitation by the Kapu community for quotas in government jobs and educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh turned violent, resulting in agitators setting fire to two police stations and at least six compartments of a train in East Godavari district. This was a follow-through support initiative, rendered to a Kapu Leader — ex-Minister Mudragada Padmanabham, who, instigated the large crowd of people, attending a Kapu ‘Garjana’ meet at V Kottur village. The Leader motivated the gathering to revolt against the present scenario and go ahead with agitation using tools such as block of roads and railway lines. The call was laden with adamance, as Kapu supporters were asked to stay firm on their agitation until the AP government issued orders to include Kapus in the backward class list.
A human-chain of Kapu community volunteers gathered at the national highway with violence on their mind. Thousands of people blocked traffic on the Chennai-Kolkata national highway and also brought rail traffic to a grinding halt. The protesters clashed with police personnel injuring ifteen of them. They also damaged 25 police vehicles.
Police was unawares of the strong agitation-builtup, and, the large crowd demanded for additional police forces, which were immediately pooled in from nearby areas and rushed to East Godavari.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu convened an emergency meeting with his cabinet colleagues in Vijayawada to take stock of the situation.
Late Sunday night, Padmanabham called off the blockade, with the caveat that he would launch an indefinite fast if the government did not comply with their demands.
New Delhi : At the rising number of Awardees returning their awards on protest against murder of writers and lynching over beef matter, the ruling NDA government had been expressing its opinion in several trickling modes, some directly responding to media queries, while others opting for platforms like social media, twitter, Facebook and blogs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday took a call on the entire matter and expressed his deepest concerns over the rise of political prejudices, which happen to be the driving force behind the awards being returned in a protest mode.
Jaitley on Wednesday hit back at writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the alleged rise in intolerance under the Modi government. He stated that the agitators had manufactured a protest and were indulging in politics by other means due to their ideological intolerance. ‘Is this protest real or a manufactured one? Is this not a case of ideological intolerance?’ he asked, pointing out that writers with Left or Nehruvian leaning who enjoyed the patronage of the previous establishment are not comfortable with the Modi dispensation. ‘The new strategy of anti-Modi, anti-BJP sections appears to be to resort to politics by other means. The easiest way is to manufacture a crisis and subsequently manufacture a paper rebellion against the government in the wake of a manufactured crisis,” said the Finance Minister.
Writing on his blog, Jaitley alleged that, earlier, isolated instances of attacks on churches were projected as a major communal conspiracy. He wrote – The protest at that time highlighted two factors; firstly that this was an attack on institutions of minority community and secondly, the prime minister was quiet about it. Once the truth of these attacks as being cases of crime was established, the propaganda and propagandists have both disappeared. He added that in the current context, killings of three rationalist writers which happened at different times and under jurisdictions of different governments were lumped to create a similar impression. He added – Nobody has alleged any governmental complacency in these crimes. But to manufacture a revolt, it is necessary to obfuscate the truth and create the impression that the Modi government is responsible for these crimes even if they took place in Congress and Samajwadi Party ruled states. In fact, one of the protesting writers in 2015, while returning her Padma Shri, has cited the Sikh killings of 1984 as one of her reasons. It took 31 years for this writer’s conscience to be aroused by the genocide of 1984. There is no atmosphere of intolerance in the country. The manufactured revolt is a case of an ideological intolerance towards the BJP.
On the Beef issue, Jaitley termed the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq for allegedly eating beef as ‘extremely unfortunate and condemnable,’ but he questioned the motive of several writers who have returned Sahitya Akademi awards by citing the rise of what they call ‘atmosphere of intolerance.’ He specifically said, the Dadri killing could neither be rationalized nor condoned, but he further stressed that the protesters never showed similar activism when India faced real crises. He stated – A few questions to the protesters: How many of them courted arrest, protested or raised their voice against the dictatorship of Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the Emergency? Did the writers speak against the Sikh killings of 1984 or the Bhagalpur riots of 1989? Was their conscience not shaken by the corruption involving lakhs of crores between 2004 and 2014?
The ruling government at the centre has been giving counter-attack reactions. Culture minister Mahesh Sharma and BJP MP Satyapal Singh had accused the protesting writers of ‘selected outrage,’ whereas Jaitley along with IT minister Ravishankar Prasad indicated that the government was not going to deviate confronting these motivated opponents.
Many number of writers have been returning their Sahitya academy awards as a mark of protest over the ruling government in the centre, stating that there has been a rising intolerance under Modi administration.