Just on the day PM Modi compared Congress’ behaviour in parliament with Emergency like situation, it’s emerged that his government has pulled up the bosses of All India Radio for broadcasting criticism of a government decision and giving airtime to political statements critical of central government.
An Economic Times reports said that “The government has sought an explanation from the director general (news) of All India Radio (AIR) for broadcasting a story which reported criticism by the Editors’ Guild of notices to three TV channels.”
Editors’ Guild had criticised the Modi government’s notices sent to three channels NDTV, ABP and Aajtak for interviewing Yakub Memon’s lawyer and under world don Chhota Shakil on the day the Bombay blasts accused was hanged.
Charges against the All India Radio are that it broadcast four news items that Modi government had found unsuitable, including the Guild’s criticism of the government’s actions against the channels.
Sources quoted by ET saud that AIR director-general (news) Mohan Chandak was even pulled up by I&B ministry officials on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Chandak was also reportedly given dressing down for broadcasting Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh’s criticism of the Centre’s peace deal with Naga insurgents, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s reference to former PM AB Vajpayee’s advice to then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi on Rajdharma, and criticism by Kumar and Lalu Yadav of Modi’s speech last week in Gaya.
There are also reports that I&B officials are planning to meet officials of Prasar Bharti, the ‘autonomous body’ which runs Doordarshan and AIR, to ensure ‘synchronization between media units and better presentation of news.’
Insiders say that the central government is very upset over the way AIR has been presenting news lately, accusing the public broadcaster of biases against the central government.