Examples Of How The Government Allegedly Tried To Silence The Media

In India, there is no specific law for journalists. However, Article 19 of the Indian constitution grants freedom of speech to all of its citizens. But, state and authority use various measures to muzzle dissent.

Allegedly, the government cuts the advertisement of those media outlets which question them. Image source: Getty

Cutting Advertisements

Many times, the government has allegedly cut advertisements in those media outlets which question them. For media channels, advertisements given by political parties are one of the major sources of income.

Hence, directly or indirectly political parties control the media. In June 2019, the Central government cut the advertisement of three newspapers including The Hindu, The Telegraph, Aanand Bazar Patrika and The Times of India.

These papers had published government critical reportage. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, the leader of the opposition Congress party, raised the issue in the parliament. He said that the government was suppressing the dissenting voice of media by cutting the advertisements.

Law Of Sedition 

The draconian sedition law is one of the tools the government uses to muzzle the dissenting voice. Many times, the court sets the accused free.

In 2018, a journalist named Keshorechandra Wangkhem was booked under the sedition law, for posting a video on social media, in Manipur. The content of the video was focused on the criticism of the ruling BJP government.

Defamation Cases

Filing for defamation and demanding a huge compensation is used to intimidate journalists. In 2017, a defamation case demanding Rs 100 crore was filed against ‘The Wire’ for an article published in October 2017.

In its report, The Wire had claimed that revenues of the company, owned by Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, have increased many times since BJP came to power in the centre.

Corporate Takeover Of Media Houses 

Many times, corporates take over the majority share of the media house and start meddling with its functioning. In 2014, Reliance took over the news channel CNN-IBN, founded by Raghav Behl, by purchasing the majority shares of the company.

Raghav Behl quit the CNN-IBN and founded a multimedia-based outlet called ‘The Quint’.

Conducting Tax-Related Raids Against Media Outlets

Many times, media houses who have been critical of the government face raids and inquiries from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), etc.

In July 2017,  the CBI raided the NDTV office and NDTV’s founder Pranoy Roy’s house, for allegedly defrauding the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) bank’s of Rs 48 crores.

Over the years, governments have used all possible ways to silence the voice of the media. As a result, Indian media is facing serious repercussions.

In the media freedom Index ranking 2019, ( a report published by Reporters Without Borders) India stands at the 140th position out of 180 countries.

Do you find online payments safe?

Take this survey and help companies and the government make online payments safer for you.

Take the Survey
Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below