Doordarshan Censors a Chief Minister’s Speech, but Airs a Non-Elected RSS Pracharak
October 4, 2017
After refusing to broadcast Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s speech one and a half months, national broadcaster Doordarshan has come under fire again, for telecasting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Dussehra speech.
DD News, which comes under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, telecast the RSS chief’s speech live from Nagpur on Friday, 29 September.
Earlier in August, Manik Sarkar had been denied the opportunity to address the people through Doordarshan and All India Radio on Independence Day.
DD and AIR had asked the democratically elected Chief Minister of Tripura to change the contents of his speech before they would broadcast it. Describing the act of censorship as “unprecedented, undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant step ”, Manik Sarkar had refused to make the changes and published it through other media outlets.
The letter from Prasar Bharati barring the DD Agartala office to air the Tripura CM’s speech said, “The message of the Chief Minister was closely examined by competent authority. In view of the sanctity of the occasion, the broadcast code and responsibility of the public broadcaster it is not possible to telecast it in the present format.”
We wonder how the "competent authority" finds no problems in airing a non-elected member's speech, when it is competent enough to censor a constitutionally elected Chief Minister of a state. In his speech , Bhagwat referred to Rohingya Muslims in disparaging terms. Any decision on Rohingya crisis should be taken "keeping in mind threat to national security”, he said.
First published in Newsclick.
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