31 July, 2021

Shootout On Fleet Street

Alarmed by its proactive role, the three ‘pillars’ of our democracy set out to weaken the fourth estate

Sanjay Rawat
Shootout On Fleet Street

Fundamentalisms do not necessarily announce their arrival by banging a hammer on our heads. Freedoms are often lost in little steps. The process creeps in quietly but insidiously. The path is often complex and defies a simple narrative. But here’s a straightforward fact: a concerted attempt is being made to censor, control and muzzle the media. The three pillars of our democracy are all responding to the age of information with a knee-jerk reactionaryism. Since they can’t impose outright censorship, they are hitting back at the media by imposing rules, restrictions and guidelines, in the name of “regulations” for the greater good.

Look at the tell-tale signs and you see they add up to a larger picture. The judiciary has put curbs on reporting from the courts and on troop movements; a retired Supreme Court judge, now the chairman of print media regulatory body Press Council, writes an article on why media must be regulated; a Congress MP and Rahul Gandhi’s core team member moves a private...

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