Anurag Thakur slams NYT for op-ed on Kashmir's press freedom
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday lashed out at news outlet The New York Times, also known as NYT, for its recent opinion piece on freedom of the press in Kashmir. According to the information and broadcasting minister, the opinion piece published in the NYT newspaper was "fictitious" and "mischievous."
Why does this story matter?
- Press freedom has been a much-debated topic in India since the BJP-led government began its reign.
- In her NYT piece, Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of The Kashmir Times, wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "repressive media policies are destroying Kashmiri journalism."
- She also expressed concern about censorship throughout the country, writing that "the rest of India may end up looking a lot like Kashmir."
NYT's op-ed's sole motive to spread propaganda about India: Thakur
Taking to Twitter, Thakur wrote: "New York Times had long back dropped all pretensions of neutrality while publishing anything about India." "NYT's so called opinion piece on freedom of press in Kashmir is mischievous & fictitious published w/ a sole motive to spread a propaganda about India and its democratic institutions and values," added the minister.
Blatant lies being spread about press freedom in Kashmir: Thakur
Thakur further claimed that press freedom is as "sacrosanct as other fundamental rights" in India. "Some foreign media nourishing a grudge against India and our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi have long been systematically trying to peddle lies about our democracy and pleuritic society," Thakur added. He also claimed that Indians are mature and don't need to learn grammar of democracy from "agenda-driven" media!
Thakur's Twitter post on NYT opinion piece
Know about Anuradha Bhasin's NYT opinion piece
In her opinion piece in NYT, Bhasin alleges that the Modi government's repressive media policies are ruining journalism in Kashmir. "An information vacuum hangs over Kashmir, with the public under-informed — or misinformed — about what's going on in the region. Important news is suppressed, downplayed or twisted to suit government ends," wrote The Kashmir Times executive editor.
Bhasin's take on BBC documentry 'India: The Modi Question'
In her op-ed, Bhasin also spoke on the much-talked-about British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary India: The Modi Question and how the Modi government tried to ban it in India! Mentioning the Income Tax Department's (I-T) recent raids at BBC's offices in the country, she stated: "Such raids have been used repeatedly to pressure critical voices in the media."
Bhasin talks about preventing India's descent into authoritarianism
"The media stands as one of the last remaining institutions capable of preventing India's descent into authoritarianism," the Kashmiri journalist wrote. "But if Mr. Modi succeeds in introducing the Kashmir model of information control to the rest of the country, it won't be just press freedom that is at risk, but Indian democracy itself," she added.