The CPI(M) on Tuesday alleged that Doordarshan allegedly at the instruction from the Centre’s Narendra Modi government, refused to broadcast Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s speech and said it would fight this “undeclared Emergency”.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Doordarshan was “not the private property” of the BJP-RSS and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “instructing his cronies to black out voices” of the Opposition, including that of an elected chief minister.
There was no immediate reaction from the Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.
In a statement, the CPI-M Politburo said it “strongly condemns the refusal by the Doordarshan and All India Radio to broadcast the customary Independence Day address of Sarkar”.
BJP denied the CPI-M’s charges calling the media reports untrue. Rajdeep Sardesai, who was one of the journalists being attacked by BJP leaders for sharing the news, posted the email from Prasar Bharati.
Attaching A copy of the letter asking Tripura CM to 'reshape' his I day speech. Hope that settles it. pic.twitter.com/xPaHeyDjpC
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 16, 2017
The email conclusively establishes how the Prasar Bharati wanted the content of Sarkar’s speech changed understandably to suit the political dispensation at the Centre.
In his communication, Sanjiv Dosajh, Assistant Director of Programmes (Policy) for Director General, wrote, “..AIR/Prsar Bharati will however be more than happy if the Hon’ble Chief Minister agrees to reshape the content (his speech) making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiments of the people of India at large.”
Janta Ka Reporter made several attempts to contact Dosajh, but was not successful in eliciting a response from him.
Since coming to power in Delhi, the Modi government has appointed people with the RSS ideologies at the key positions in Prasar Bharati, which is responsible for managing the affairs of the public broadcasters including Doordarshan and All India Radio, both on medium wave and FM.
Prasar Bharati, is expected to function independently but it has always been accused of toeing the government’s propaganda. It falls under the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, now headed by Smriti Irani.