In 1975, Emergency was imposed in India by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. All media houses had to work under the fear and vigilance of the government. We are witnessing a similar situation today. The only difference is that in 1975, the President signed the paper to impose section 352, now it is happening without it.
In 2016, the Indian government had ordered a 24-hour blackout television network NDTV for allegedly revealing “strategically sensitive information” during its coverage of the Pathankot anti-terror military operations. Now, ABP news anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai is said to have resigned from the channel. Bajpai hosted “Masterstroke” and was often critical of the BJP-led government, which is the job of a journalist.
In recent times, both Punya Prasun Bajpai and Ravish Kumar gheraoed the government on several prime issues like employment, hatred and false propaganda of the government.
Bajpai, who formerly worked with Aaj Tak was allegedly fired because of his interview with Baba Ramdev. After this, he started working with ABP. There is news that ABP’s managing editor has also quit the channel.
The print media is also facing extreme pressure. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, who was the Editor-in-Chief of Economic and Political Weekly was also forced to resign after receiving a legal notice from the Adani group for a story by the magazine. Niranjan Takle, the journalist who did the investigative story on Judge Loya is finding it hard to get work.
If this is not the unofficial emergency then we have to wipe our lenses or forget that right to dissent and freedom of speech is also in our Constitution.