The Wire is once again up against the current NDA government, this time with an atrocious call: dismantle IB ministry!
Yes, The Wire is sponsoring calls for abolishing IB ministry. Reason? A press circular, issued to the Press Council of India by Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani called for keeping a watch on news that were not only fake, but could also be manipulated to orchestrate anarchy in various regions across India. Under these guidelines, any journalist who was found guilty of indulging in such practices, would not only be fined, but also have his / her practicing license revoked.
This circular caused a furore amongst the intelligentsia, well notorious for peddling such news, and for whom, such news and tidbits was everyday life. Following the uproar, the press release was withdrawn, though the order stands status quo. In this tumultuous situation, the recent article on The Wire seems to add only fuel to the fire.
If one starts with the article, one notices that the same old rhetoric of communalising India, repeated by the secularist oriented politicians, has been used more than often. To give you an example, here is an extract from the introduction:“…However, there was an influential body of political opinion in India that believed that a religious partition should have reached its logical culmination – in other words, if Partition created a Muslim Pakistan it should logically have created a Hindu India also. That was the alternative idea of India that was alive and kicking in the frenzied years following the great devastation of 1947 called the Partition. It claimed among its victims Mahatma Gandhi too…”
After revoking the much touted contributions of the Nehru Gandhi dynasty towards the cause of an efficient communication system, the author of the text goes on to justify his stance on dismantling the IB ministry and proposing the setup of ‘…a giant Media Regulatory Authority of India…’, something along the lines of the Broadcasting Content Corporation, [BCCC], the content watchdog for television programs.
The man, whose calls for dismantling the IB ministry have been shamelessly sponsored by The Wire, is none other than ex IB Minister and Congress spokesperson, Manish Tewari.
The article penned down by Manish Tewari is a clear example of ‘the grapes are sour’ rhetoric, and it is quite ironic that a man, whose party arrested a journalist for exposing their communalism in Karnataka, and charged him under the same section 66 A of the IT Act, long abolished by the Supreme Court, is actually advocating for press freedom. Do we need to remind of the bold declarations that this man and Kapil Sibal used to make, that they will not let even Google and Facebook operate in India without their permission?
The excuses that Manish Tewari has given for his own inaction when he was himself the I & B Minister are more laughable than worth mentioning. To quote him, Mr. Tewari couldn’t implement this revolutionary decision, as he ‘…hardly had one effective year as a minister at a point in time when daily firefighting was the overriding priority? However, this is an idea whose time has come…’ So why didn’t he speak about it for about 4 whole years? Was the opportunity not ripe then?
At a time when India finally received a minister, who at least had the courage to make an attempt at regulating fake and insidious news, such articles don’t only demoralize such noble initiatives, but also expose the nefarious agenda of the people who peddle such lies. The fact that such atrocious views were published by The Wire only dents their image further as a news agency. They’d lost credibility ages ago.
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