Published On : Tue, Nov 8th, 2016

Spooked by fierce criticism I&B Ministry suspends decision to ‘blackout’ NDTV for a day

New Delhi/Nagpur: Wisdom seems to have suddenly dawned on the I&B Minister or all the criticism and wide condemnation of their proposed unprecedented act has hit its mark, the Minister has decided to suspend or at least ‘put on hold’ its arbitrary decision to black out NDTV, India, a Hindi channel for 24 hours tomorrow. This order was issued formally yesterday, i.e. on 7th November.

This decision was arrived at after NDTV co founder Prannay Roy met Union Minister of Broadcasting Venkiah Naidu and made a representation on behalf of his channel. I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal and Press Information Bureau Director General Frank Noronha were also present at this high level meet.

The order states: ” The channel (NDTV) has made representation in this regard, which is unde examination. Pending such examination, it is hereby ordered that operation of the said order to be held in abeyance till further orders”. ( How much more circumspect can a govt. order get??)

NDTV had also moved the Supreme Court challenging the order to ban NDTV for a day for allegedly revealing ‘sensitive information’. NDTV reiterated on the other hand that NDTV India did not broadcast sensitive details of January’s terror attack on the air force base in Pathankot – and that the channel had not been given a fair chance to offer evidence that it did not share any information that was different from what other channels and newspapers presented at the same time.

In a statement NDTV has said –
“NDTV is incredibly grateful and overwhelmed by the unflinching support we have received since the ban was announced. Every Association of Journalists in every part of the country has stood up to fight for a constitutional right, making it clear that this is by no means about NDTV or one channel, but about the vibrant, free and responsible media that is such an important constituent of India’s democracy.”

Nagpur Today, had been one of the first newspapers ( e-paper ) to express full support to NDTV and had taken the revolutionary step to voluntary go black for a day too tomorrow.

Our contention was clear – we would not allow the media to be bullied by strong arm tactics of the government. We are an important fourth pillar of Democracy and we will stand by our responsibility. No govt. might can make us abrogate our commitment to people which is to be purveyors of Truth and fight against injustice – anywhere. And to any one.