New Delhi, November 7: Condemning the attack on freedom of press by central government, Press Club of India (PCI) and Indian Women’s Press Corps are jointly undertaking a protest march in Delhi, 3 pm onwards, against the one-day ban on Hindi news channel NDTV India.
In a joint statement issued, the Press Club of India and the Indian Women’s Press Corps strongly condemned the decision of the inter-ministerial committee to ban NDTV news channel for a day. The statement said: We demand that the I&B Ministry should immediately quash the order as it is arbitrary and violates the fundamental principles of freedom of expression as enshrined in our Constitution.
In another statement released on Monday, the Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia (FCC) also condemned the government’s decision to impose one-day ban on the NDTV as “arbitrary” and appealed to the government to immediately withdraw it.
In a statement, the FCC note: If the government believes that any TV network has violated the law, it should first take up the issue with the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), the independent self-regulatory body of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), for redressal, and then take the offending network to court if necessary.
The ban has been imposed on NDTV Hindi news channel for allegedly violating the programme code under the Indian broadcast law while telecasting January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base. Earlier the Editors Guild of India and the Broadcast Editors’ Association had also criticised the decision and demanded its reversal.
The government’s decision has raked up all round criticism from journalists as well as political leaders. It is interesting to note timing of the decision as the decision to ban NDTV comes after 10 months of the broadcast. India being the largest democracy to have largest number of Newspapers and News Channels, such an attack on freedom to speach and print can not be welcomed.