According to the Information & Broadcasting ministry of India, NDTV India, the Hindi news channel of NDTV has revealed some sensitive details such as the location of ammunition depot, residential area and school in its coverage of Pathankot attack. Apparently, there were also disclosing the location of attackers. The ministry along with some of the government officials believed that such information can be misused by the army enemy to harm the natives, hence a common view was held that NDTV India should penalize for revealing such sensitive matter out in open. Thus, The Information & Broadcasting ministry has passed an order to “prohibit the transmission or retransmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November 2016 till 00:01 hrs of 10th November 2016”.
The rule clearly holds that live coverage of any military action or anti-terrorist operation must never be broadcasted. However, the government allows periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate government, till such operation concludes. Though the channel feels that the ban was against the freedom of speech and expression and that the coverage was a balanced one and was not telecasted exclusively by NDTV India. Hence, the channel is being invariably targeted.
This move by the government is sharply criticized by the viewers, journalists, social activists and even opposition parties like Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. It was a clear attempt of curbing the voice that raises questions on the policies of the government. NDTV India is the single most unbiased news channel that is known for challenging the government and exposing various scams and hence has been targeted time and again.
However, yesterday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday put the order on hold and gave NDTV Ltd. a chance to present its case once more before an inter-ministerial committee. Amidst all this, certainly, while it is unethical to telecast something sensitive live, we must also remember, that if we will support such restrictions on media, we are curbing the voice of dissent which only leads to development.