November 5, 2016
Efforts are being made to create a controversy where none exists on ban on NDTV India. In the past too, UPA government took several channels off the air for airing objectionable content, Naidu said.
Chennai: The NDA government will never curtail freedom of media declared union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday and found fault with those opposing action against NDTV India for its broadcast of anti-terror operations that jeopardized national security.
Justifying the ban on NDTV India for a day, the minister said it was well within its rights to take the action as live telecast of Pathankot action put the lives of defence personnel and civilians at a risk.
“This action is not being taken under a new rule invented now, but is well within the power of the government to act against channels that telecast objectionable content,” the minister told press persons after participating in a function here.
NDTV India has been asked to go off the air from November 8 midnight to November 9 midnight.
Naidu said that the NDA government has the highest regard for media freedom and the BJP would shudder to do anything to curtail media freedom, like what happened during emergency. The people are with the decision of the government on ban on NDTV India, he said, adding “always, there will be a minority who are critical of whatever the Government does in the best interest of the country.”
“The belated criticism of the action proposed to be taken against NDTV India for violating the norms of live coverage of anti-terrorist operations by the security personnel in Pathankot in January this year is clearly ill informed and politically inspired,” Naidu said.
The UPA government too took action against several channels and took them off air for periods ranging from one day to two months for objectionable content, he said.
“One channel was taken off air for 30 days for telecasting a sting operation,” Naidu said.
The showing of live reportage of anti-terrorist operations risks the lives of defence personnel and civilians and is a serious threat to the interests of the nation, its sovereignty, integrity and security, Naidu said.
Naidu said NDTV India has violated government advisories. It had also resorted to similar violations earlier, the union minister added.
The central government is empowered to take action against channels for transmitting any objectionable content , the minister said taking severe objection to Editors Guild of India’s criticism of the ban on NDTV India. The government is also not required to go to court and is competent to take action on its own, Naidu said.