Venkaiah Naidu: Criticism of ban on NDTV India is politically inspired ill informed : CHENNAI, Nov 5: Critisizing references to the Emergency in the context of the one-day ban on NDTV India channel, Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the action against the Hindi news channel was taken in the interest of the safety and security of the country.
Naidu, addressing a press conference, said that the NDA government has the highest regard for freedom of media and politicisation of such issues will only affect the safety and security of the country.
Naidu also also slammed Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for talking about the dark days of Emergency. He said that I was surprised, aghast. Some people talked of Emergency-like situation.
He asked that I do not know how they are saying this is the first time. I read in a newspaper today that it is first time that Government has issued a ban on a television channel
Naidu also listed out the names of some of the channels that were banned in the past, He said that FTV was banned for two month, Enter10 for one day. AXN was banned for two months. ABN AndhraJyoti was banned for seven days. Al Jazeera was banned for five days for showing wrong map of India.
He noted that these are all done earlier. Now they are saying it is done for the first time, murder of democracy, Emergency reminiscent and all.
Naidu said I will never allow any infringement of the freedom of the press. The BJP-led NDA government has the highest regard for the freedom of media and would never allow any infringement of it. The government does it in the best interest of the country.
Naidu said that Freedom of press is very important and the country’s security and unity is most important.
Naidu asserted that people should know that during 2005-2014, the UPA Governments ordered several TV channels to go off air in 21 instances, for a period ranging from 1 day to 2 months for showing obscene visuals including 13 cases of telecasting Adult rated certified films.
Naidu said that for telecasting a sting operation, One channel was taken off air for 30 days.
The Minister said that the ban of NDTV India was not based on any newly invented rule and principle.
The ground on which action has been proposed against NDTV India was only a logical conclusion of concerns clearly articulated by the UPA Government in various advisories issued after 26/11 terror attacks on multiple targets in Mumbai in 2008,” he said.
Responding to criticism by Editors Guild of India, Naidu said, “The Editors Guild of India, a responsible organisation that took a full day to come out with its response should realise that under Sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, Central Government is required to regulate or prohibit the transmission of any channel or programme in the interest of sovereignty, integrity and security of India and as per Para 8.1 of Uplinking Guidelines, is empowered to take action for transmitting any objectionable content inconsistent with public interest.
He added that therefore, the Government is not required to approach the Courts in such cases, as suggested by the Guild.