Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who heads a Left Front government in the state, has alleged that Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast his Independence Day address unless he reshaped it.
Doordarshan Kendra, Agartala has refuted the allegations.
A news agency report from Agartala quoted a statement from the Chief Ministers Office: The Chief Minister clearly stated that he would not change a single word and described it as unprecedented, undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant step.
This is the full text of the CM’s speech reproduced from the Indian Express.
“On the occasion of Independence Day, I convey my greetings and best wishes to you all. I pay my homage to the great memory of the martyrs of Indias freedom struggle. I would also like to offer my personal regards to those freedom fighters who are amongst us today.
“Independence Day is not just a ceremonial occasion. Keeping in view the historical significance and tremendous emotional attachment to this day for Indians, it has to be treated as an important ceremonial occasion for national introspection. Before us on this years Independence Day are quite a few very relevant, important and contemporary issues.
“Unity in diversity is Indias traditional heritage. Great values of secularism have helped in keeping Indians together as a nation. But today, this spirit of secularism is under attack. Conspiracies and attempts are underway to create an undesirable complexity and divisions in our society; to invade our national consciousness in the name of religion, caste and community, by inciting passions to convert India into a particular religion country and in the name of protecting the cow. Because of all these, people of minority and Dalit communities are under severe attack. Their sense of security is being shattered. Their life is in peril. These unholy tendencies cannot be harboured or tolerated. These disruptive attempts are contrary to the goals, dreams and ideals of our freedom struggle.
“The followers of those who were not associated with the Independence movement, rather sabotaged the freedom movement, were servile to the atrocious, plundering and merciless British, aligned with the anti-national forces, having decorated themselves today in different names and colours are striking at the root of unity and integrity of India. Every loyal and patriotic Indian must take the pledge today to remain committed to the ideal of a united India and counter the attempts towards such destructive conspiracies and attacks. We must all collectively strive to ensure the security of minorities and Dalits and preserve the unity and integrity of our country.
“Today, the gulf between the haves and have-nots is widening. The nations vast resources and wealth are being concentrated in the hands of a few. A large majority of our people are suffering from poverty. These people are the victims of inhuman exploitation. They are being deprived of food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare and security of job for assured income.
“This is contrary to the aims and objectives of our Independence struggle. Our current national policies are squarely responsible for this state of affairs. Such anti-people policies shall have to be reversed. But words alone will not achieve this. For this, we need the deprived and the suffering Indians to arise, become vocal and protest fearlessly, collectively. We definitely need an alternative policy that serves the interests of the vast majority of Indians. To bring this alternative policy into reality, the deprived and suffering Indians need to take a pledge on this Independence Day to launch an economic, political and social movement.
“The mounting problem of unemployment has created a sense of despondency and gloom in our national psyche. On the one hand, lakhs of employed are loosing their jobs; on the other hand, crores of unemployed youth are waiting for jobs. It is not possible to solve this gigantic national problem without reversing the national economic policies which work to strengthen the very small group of profiteering corporates, and without increasing the purchasing power of the common people of India. Hence, the students, youth, and working classes will have to take pledge on this Independence Day to launch a collective and continuous movement to reverse these destructive policies.
“In contrast to the anti-people policies of the government at the Centre, the state government of Tripura despite its limitations has been pursuing policies for the welfare of people in all walks of life with a special focus on the downtrodden and to advance forward with their cooperation. This is a totally different and an alternative path. This path has been able to not only attract the people of Tripura but also elicit a positive response of the downtrodden people of our country. This is not being tolerated by the reactionary forces here in Tripura.
“Hence, conspiracies are being hatched up by the enemies of the people to disturb peace, fraternity and integrity of the state. And at the same time, attempts are on to disrupt the realm of developmental works. We need to counter all these unholy designs and isolate the reactionary forces. In this background, on this Independence Day, all the right-thinking, peace-loving and development-seeking people of Tripura need to take a determined pledge to come forward and work unitedly against such disruptive forces.”