oppn parties Action Against Kashmir Press Club: Cracking Down On Independent Journalism

News Snippets

  • Delhi Additional district judge Nikhil Chopra says there is no legal right for people seeking to worship deity inside Qutab Minar, says it survived 800 years without worship so "let it survive like that"
  • Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann sacks state health minister Vijay Singla over corruption charges. Singla was later arrested by the ACB
  • Protestors burn the house of Andhra minister P Viswaroop and MLA Satish Kumar over renaming of Konaseema district as B R Amberdkar Konaseema
  • Gyanvapi: Varanasi district judge decides to first hear the 'maintainability' plea filed by mosque management
  • Delhivery and Venus Pipes shares list at premium of 10% and 8.7% respectively even when market sentiment was down
  • In a bid to cool edible oil prices, Centre allows duty-free imports of 20 lakh tonnes each of crude sunflower oil and crude palm oil per annum this year and next
  • Centre caps sugar exports to ensure availability of stocks in the domestic markets to cool prices
  • Stock markets get the jitters as RBI signals rate hike and government moves in to control inflation: Sensex tumbles by 236 points to 54052 and Nifty goes down by 89 points to 16125
  • IPL: Lucknow Super Giants to meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first Eliminator today. Winners to take on Rajasthan Royals for a place in the finals
  • IPL: Sensational David Miller blasts three sixes off the first three deliveries of the last over to help Gujarat Titans beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets and enter their maiden IPL final in their debut year
  • While joining US-led IPEF, PM Modi says it will bring "peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region"
  • Mamata Banerjee says Bengal government will not lower VAT as the excise cut by the Centre will already reduce state's revenue by Rs 641 cr
  • Mamata Banerjee says Central agencies must be made autonomous to save democracy
  • While commuting the death sentence of 2 men and 1 woman, the Supreme Court says convict's conduct before and after crime is vital for death penalty
  • Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya slams the Covid death report of WHO at the 75th session of World Health Assembly in Geneva
US President Joe Biden says India-US ties to be among "closest on earth" //////// China and Russia send bombers near Japan even as Quad leaders were holding meetings there /////// Gujarat Titans enter IPL finals in style, beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets
oppn parties
Action Against Kashmir Press Club: Cracking Down On Independent Journalism

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-01-21 06:47:02

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The way the Kashmir Press Club was closed down permanently shows that the NDA government, through the J&K administration, used its powers to silence an independent body of journalists. The people of J&K are going through a harrowing time ever since Article 370 was abrogated and draconian restrictions were imposed. It is their right to be truthfully informed about the goings on in the union territory. Further, trained and independent journalists are the best source of verified information which is otherwise distorted into fake, distorted and slanted news through WhatsApp and other social media channels. The government, instead of strengthening the hands of journalists who provide verified news, is encouraging the spread of fake and distorted news by forcibly closing down the press club.

Further, the incidents which preceded the closure clearly proved that the government was taking sides and trying to promote a section of journalists perceived to be close to it. The government says it was factional row but it is clear that it wanted its handpicked journalists to run the body, thereby compromising its independence. The outgoing governing body had scheduled elections in mid-February to elect the next body. But the government cancelled the registration of the club by citing an 'adverse' CID report that had 'questioned' the antecedents of the existing governing body members. Later, a group of journalists, supported by security forces, forcibly took over the premises. Finally, the government permanently cancelled the registration and took back the premises it had provided for the club to be set up.

In a region where the government is using force to get things done and where the democratic rights of the people are suspended, the importance of verified news from traditional and responsible media channels cannot be discounted. Any administrative action that closes down or even compromises such media channels or bodies that contribute news to such channels is likely to have an adverse effect in the long run. The government must recognize this and adopt a hands-off policy in such matters. In the instant case, it must restore the registration of the Kashmir Press Club, reinstate the premises and allow it to hold elections to elect a new governing body and function normally. As for the 'adverse' inputs received through the CID, it must either disclose the charges or stop using innuendos to defame journalists who are doing their work under immense pressure. 

Feedback: We would love to hear your opinion about this article and India Commentary. Please email your opinions at editorialindiacommentary@gmail.com