Monitoring Desk: Indian journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai are going through a phase from where Pakistani journalists had gone through in 80s and 90s when criticising government was tagged as “anti State Propaganda”. Things are slightly changed in Pakistan but majority of journalists still do work with “Self Censorship” for avoiding a situation where they can be tagged as “anti-religion” or “anti-state”.
Persecution of journalists is becoming a norm in India under Modi Sarkar as it was in Pakistan during 80s, 90s and even during the beginning of 21st century.
A veteran journalist and broadcaster of India, Rajdeep Sardesai are among those who are futuristic and can see a dreadful future of journalism in India if strong voice against calculated move of radicals to purge freedom of expression in India is not raised without delay.
According to a story published by Hindustantimes, during his talk in Chandigarh Press Club, Sardesai said that strong institutions in the media were (are) the only barricade for the media to really play a role it was meant to — asking tough questions — in society.
“It has become the new normal to brand a journalist nationalist or anti-nationalist. We have to realise that doing a story against someone does not mean we are their enemy,” explained Sardesai.
“People see through attempts to favour or disfavour a particular ideology. On TV channels, the logic is: You are guilty till you prove yourself innocent? The same logic has now started applying in public’s dealings with the media as well,” he added.
Giving a classical example how political parties deals with media in South Asia, he said that journalists were (are) losing the capacity to ask questions because relationship between media and politicians is being shifted from “professional” to “personal”.
He explained that a reporter who was (is) not a bhakt (follower) of a politicians was (is) increasingly being denied access to him (politician).
“The clash of ideologies is turning into a personal battle. Journalists are not performers, they are observers and have to do their duty,” he added.
Rajdeep Sardesai has demanded enactment of a strong law to protect journalists and also demanded criminal defamation law be struck off without delay in India.