Rights Forum Flags Ban on MediaOne, Calls it Authoritarianism

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Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Coming down heavily on the government over ban on the MediaOne, the popular Malayalam TV channel, National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) said the arbitrary move exposed the authoritarianism steak of the ruling dispensation.

According to reports, MediaOne TV has gone off air after its name was removed from the list of channels permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Ministry has reportedly denied permission for the channel’s renewal of license after “MHA’s refusal to give security clearance”.

MediaOne TV had applied for routine renewal from September 30, 2021 to September 29, 2031. Instead of renewing the permission, the NCHRO lamented that the Ministry has imposed a ban on the channel.

The channel is currently seeking judicial intervention against the move with the hope that justice would prevail eventually.

A NCHRO releases said, though “security” reasons were cited to justify the ban, nothing specific has been said by the Ministry. It is clear that under the garb of “security reasons”, the government wants to silence voices critical of their activities.

The NCHRO noted that this was not the first time the channel has been banned. In 2020, Media One TV’s coverage of the anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi had led to its temporary ban, when the same Ministry had said that it violated provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. But due to protests the license was restored soon.

The NCHRO termed the ban as arbitrary, condemnable, and reflective of the authoritarianism of the government.

“In any democratic society, the media is supposed to play the role of a watchdog. When the government starts hammering down on the media that are critical of their activities, it should sound an alarm for every concerned citizen,” the release pointed out.

The NCHRO demands that the ban be lifted immediately. The Confederation also calls upon all progressive and democratic citizens, organizations and civil societies, to come forward in condemning this ban, and demanding its revocation.

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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