The ban on NDTV India is one more effort by the Government in crushing independent reporting. At a time when there is serious attempt being made to make the media either to toe the government line or face harassment, the attempt is only to make the media toe the line of the government. It is a definite attempt at placing restrictions on democratic rights and freedom of the press. More than the media, it is a direct attack on rights of the citizens. While this attack has been existent in conflict zones all along this has become much more visible in urban India now. A state of undeclared emergency is being sought to be brought about.
As stated by the Chief Editor of a reputed National Daily in Award ceremony, one should only feel honoured to face the wrath of the Government. Thus it is only an indicator that independent voice is being retained. Otherwise the voice has only been brought over. Imposing ban is to kill the questioning voices that emerge. It is to stop deviating from the laxman rekha. It is an attempt at showing a line as to the type of news that is to be produced and consumed, the information that is to be believed, and the ideas that is to be accepted or rejected.
Despite commercialisation of media, there are reasonable voices making all out effort to educate the news audience. In the world of brought over hyper-nationalist news anchors who appeal to unreason, still prevalence of anchors making honest attempts to educate the audience is a direct threat to the regime. Such voice of reason is a direct threat to their attempt at establishing a kingdom attempted to be built up on the foundations of unreason and blindness.
The foundations of this unreason are built on fascism, communalism, casteism and patriarchal values. In this kingdom of unreason, Fascists become Nationalists, Secularism becomes Sickularism, Independent media voices become Prestitutes, BJP media becomes Nationalist media, and Critical media becomes Paid media. Branding the democratic voices in the new vocabulary sought to be created by the voices of unreason is only to kill the voices of reason.
In this period where darkness is sought to be shown as brightness and brightness as darkness just due to the blindness of unreason, it is important to bring back reason to the fore-front. In this situation, it is important to protect and retain independent and democratic voices as it is to fight the voices of unreason and blindness. In this situation, questioning the ban on NDTV acquires importance. While it may just look as a ban on mainstream media just for a single day, the attempt will be to extend it against holding an independent opinion, which conflicts with that of the current regime. Standing with NDTV India thus acquires importance.
T. Navin works with a Non Governmental Organization (NGO). He studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)