GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 15th Sept. The BJP has compared the opposition alliance INDIA’s decision to boycott the shows of 14 television anchors on various platforms on Thursday to the Emergency.
The opposition bloc’s media committee decided to boycott certain journalists’ shows and not send representatives to debates organized by them on such channels or platforms.
“Pursuant to the decision taken by INDIA Coordination Committee in its meeting on September 13, 2023, the INDIA parties will not send their representatives on the shows and events of the following anchors,” a statement from the media committee of the opposition bloc said while listing the names of such journalists.
To justify the action, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, who is a member of the committee of opposition parties that made the decision in their virtual conference, stated that over the past nine years, some channels have set up a ‘nafrat ka bazaar’ (market for hatred).
The INDIA parties have decided not to legitimise this “hate-filled narrative” which is corroding our society, he noted.
“That was the idea behind this decision,” he said, adding that the opposition bloc does not want to be a party to any such action which adds hatred in society.
“We are not opposed to any of the anchors, but we do not want to be a party to such endeavours,” Khera said, adding that they can create memes or target their leaders but will not create such an atmosphere.
“We will not be customers in this market of this hate,” he asserted.
“We have taken this decision and issued this list with a heavy heart. We hope these anchors will do some introspection and take some corrective measures,” the Congress leader also said.
Hardeep Puri, a Union minister, compared the decision to the Emergency, which restricted media freedom.
“The only instance we have seen of civil liberties being curtailed in India was during the Emergency in 1975,” he said in a post on X.
“Open calls for eradication of Sanatan Dharma, FIRs against journalists and boycott of media reflect politics of those dark years of emergency. True face of I.N.D.I.Alliance,” he said.
Union minister Anurag Thakur also slammed the opposition bloc, saying their actions demonstrate their desperation.
Addressing a public meeting in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, he said, “Everyday, the leaders of Congress and their allies say they will destroy Sanatan Dharma and leave no stone unturned to insult Hindus. Now they have even started boycotting journalists and are filing cases. Be it in Chennai or Bengal, they are filing cases out of desperation and panic, and at the same time they are saying that they will eradicate Sanatan Dharma.”
BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya also took to X to say, “So I.N.D.I Alliance has released a list of journalists, who refused to even bend, when the Opposition expected them to crawl. They should wear it as a badge of honour. More power to them…”
The AAP also used the hashtag “#JudegaBharatJeetegaIndia” to share the list of journalists and the INDIA media committee’s statement.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) called the boycott a coup against democracy.
The NUJ strongly opposed the INDIA parties’ boycott of select journalists, claiming that the opposition parties had politicized the media.
The president of National Union of Journalists linked to the International Federation of Journalists, Ras Bihari said in a statement that this decision of the opposition parties is a “black chapter” of repression on the media in India’s democratic history.
“This is totally wrong and unacceptable,” he said, adding that this reflects the lack of democratic values in these parties.
“The opposition alliance of 26 parties has shamed democracy through this action of boycott,” he said, adding that they are conpiring to weaken the fourth pillar of democracy.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter and her media advisor Iltija Mufti said the decision to boycott the anchors was long overdue.
“INDIA alliance’s decision to boycott godi media anchors who only spew vitriol was long overdue. Their venomous shows have put the masses on a slow drip of bigotry by demonising minorities,” she posted on X.