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Bhopal journos' strong stand against ban on NDTV, to sport black band till Nov 9

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BHOPAL: Bhopal journalists have called the government decision to ban NDTV telecast for a day as an attack on media and attempts to curtail freedom of expression in the country.

A resolution was passed condemning the government action and it was decided to wear black bands till November 9th, as a form of solidarity.

Leading journalists, many of whom had worked during Emergency, said that government was testing waters and if there was no strong protest, the freedom of press would be muzzled further.

Journalists said smaller groups and journalists in different parts of the country have been facing it for a while and now a major media house has been targeted, was clear indication that press freedom was under siege.

False stories being floated, wrong comparisons being made about ban on TV channels

The journalists unanimously said that wrong comparisons are being made and false information is being floated--like the previous ban on other channels, though those bans were on entertainment or other channels for showing nudity.

Almost all electronic channels had shown similar footage but NDTV was targeted because we know that it doesn't go for TRP and practices journalism of social concern, said journalists associated with electronic media.

"We are often seen as rivals because we belong to different channels but the fact is that we all admit that NDTV is known for its journalism. As journalists we stand with it", they said.


Senior journalist and former editor of Hindustan Times' Lucknow edition CK Naidu recalled his experiences about the emergency era and said that this time it comes under the garb of nationalism. "In those days too, some took a bold stand while many others succumbed", he said.

Journalist Ravindra Jain said that it was the decision taken in a laboratory to see the reaction. "If we don't react strongly, all of us would be next".

Senior journalist Lalit Shastri termed this fight as the second freedom struggle and cautioned journalists against the fear of losing their jobs. "Be ready to stand up for principles", he said.

Veteran journalist Vijay Tiwari said that cultural groups are dictating state policies which is a warning sign for the nation.

"NDTV is a big media house. We are taking a stand and this will be our stand for other smaller media houses and journalists too", said Shiv Anurag Pateria.

Senior journalist Arun Dixit spoke about the need to question authority. He spoke about the recent jailbreak and said that murders were termed as 'encounter'.

"Personal political views aside, all have to fight for freedom of expression, free media", said Sravani Sarkar, who is Editor-in-Chief 

Around 150 journalists attend protest meet

Senior journalist Deepak Tiwari conducted the proceedings of the event. Leading journalists including veteran editor Umesh Trivedi, Girish Upadhyay, Rakesh Dixit, Brajesh Rajput, Deshdeep Saxena, Sravani Sarkar were among those who spoke at length.

Mringendra Singh, KS Shaini, Manish Srivastava, Ajay Bokil, Shams Ur Rehman Alavi, Anil Dubey, Hemendra Sharma, Girish Sharma, Pankaj Shukla, Manoj Sharma, Mukta Pathak, Dinesh Shukla, Ajay Tripathi,Sachin Jain, Vinay Dwivedi, Md Azam, Rajesh Bhatia, Milind Ghatwai, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Moeed Faruqi, Anam Ibrahim, Rakesh Malviya, were among others who participated in f the protest meet.

[Photo courtesy: Sachin Jain]