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Under Modi, India’a Press Is Not So Free Anymore – By Vindu Goel and Jeffrey Gettleman

The Media One anchorman Vinesh Kunhiraman went on air as usual on March 6, ready to tell the station’s five million viewers in India’s Kerala State about the death anniversary of a beloved comedian and the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. The station’s uplink suddenly went dead. Mr. Kunhiraman’s image dissolved into a blue screen. A bland message told viewers there was no signal. “We regret the inconvenience,” it said. But this was no technical difficulty. The station had been cut off by an order from India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Since Mr. Modi came to power in 2014, they say, his government has tried to control the country’s news media, especially the airwaves, like no other prime minister in decades. Mr. Modi has shrewdly cultivated the media to build a cult of personality that portrays him as the nation’s selfless savior.

With the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Modi has gotten more blatant in his attempt to control coverage and, as with other difficult stories, some Indian news executives seem willing to go along.

SEE ALSO

India’s government wants to censor the media to fight Covid-19 – but transparency is a better weapon – By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan (Apr 1, 2020, Scroll.in)

https://scroll.in/article/957849/indias-government-wants-to-censor-the-media-to-fight-covid-19-but-transparency-is-a-better-weapon

Covid-19: Independent Media is Antidote to Chaos, Don’t Censor it – By Gautam Navlakha (Apr 3, 2020, News Click)

https://www.newsclick.in/Covid-19-independent-media-antidote-chaos-donot-censor-it

Indians are fighting against coronavirus and BJP IT cell is fighting against Indians – By Jyoti Yadav (Apr 4, 2020, The Print)

Modi and his politics of messaging – By Shekhar Gupta (Apr 4, 2020, Business Standard)https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/shekhar-gupta-modi-and-his-politics-of-messaging-120040400064_1.html

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