The Centre' s temporary ban on two Malayalam channels Asianet News and Media One invited widespread criticism. Opinion makers, political leaders, scribes' unions and noted personalities have registered strong protest against the ban.
Congress MP from the state and senior party leader Shashi Tharoor expressed his dissent through his twitter handle. “How on earth can Malayalam channels inflame communal passions in Delhi? Whereas the truly vicious propaganda channels continue their brazen distortions w/impunity. Asianet News and MediaOne are fine independent media. LiftTheBan now,” he tweeted.
However, hours after the ban was imposed, Asianet News resumed broadcasting. And the ban on Media One was lifted today morning.
The ministry of information and broadcasting announced a 48-hour ban on the two channels on Friday evening for allegedly covering the violence in Delhi in a biased manner.
The Kerala Working Journalists Union is organising protest marches and meetings in all districts across Kerala and in New Delhi.
“The Centre is trying to silence the media for reporting the truth. They are trying to impose an undeclared emergency. It is the most undemocratic stand that media should report as per the wish of government,” said K.P Reji, state president of KUWJ.
Asianet channel sources said that though they had submitted an explanation earlier to the ministry, they had not been informed about the decision to block the channels. The Media One editor-in-chief CL Thomas made it clear that they will legally fight against the ban. It is a blatant attack against free and fair journalism, he said in a statement.
The Centre's decision to lift the ban before 48 hours might follows a strong protest and pressure from various quarters.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala strongly condemned the ban.
“The communal riots are engineered by the government support and the Modi government is trying to shut down media organisations which does not report as per its wish,” Kodiyeri
said. Ramesh Chennithala stressed the need to unitedly resist such fascist steps....