Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zee TV Boss at Modi rally

Saffron censorship strikes again?

Award-winning documentary film-maker Anand Patwardhan is no stranger to censorship but this was a unique experience for him. Invited by Zee News for a live debate on the Cobrapost story at 10p.m. on Friday, he waited patiently at the studio only to be told the programme was cancelled in favour of a live cricket match telecast! Incensed, he sought, and obtained, a written apology at what he termed 'corporate media censorship'.  

Print wins
The Election Commission says the BJP manifesto release on April 7 cannot be telecast till 6 pm of April 12, prior to the second round of polling. But the print medium can cover it. Section 126(i)(b) of The Representation of The People Act, 1951 bars telecasting election matters of parties during 48 hours till end of polling on 10th. But surely use of either print or TV, both amount to publicizing election matters? Then why this restriction only on TV? Is it restricting use of  websites or social media? Its ban  may need a re-look.
TV Boss at Modi rally
The head of the Zee empire Subhash Chandra joined Narendra Modi on the  dais at his rally at Kurukshetra today. The city is in the constituency of Chandra's old foe, Congressman and coal tycoon Naveen Jindal. Jindal's company  had filed a criminal case against Zee News last year alleging   blackmail and extortion. Chandra reportedly told the crowd that he was a son of Haryana who had brought fame to the state but was dragged by Congressmen into a false case. He said he had found a ray of hope in Modi. 

While everyone piled onto Arvind Kejriwal for his alleged comment on wanting to 'jail' journos no one seems to object to the daily belligerence of the BJP spokespeople. When  Karan Thapar was grilling Ravi Shankar  Prasad on Varun Gandhi's comments, Prasad shot back saying the BJP was not bothered about " the increasing intention of Karan Thapar to create trouble". Earlier in the week Madhu Kishwar was yelling at Rahul Shivshankar on News X saying journalists like him who questioned Modi on Godhra, were worse offenders than the criminals themselves.

The Hoot 

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