Tripura: Doordarshan denies blocking CM's speech, claims it was aired
After a controversy erupted over Doordarshan refusing to air Tripura CM Manik Sarkar's Independence Day speech, the broadcaster has "vehemently" denied the charges. According to Agartala Doordarshan chief UK Sahoo, the channel gave 12-minute coverage to Sarkar's speech at 7pm on August 15. Prasar Bharti officials claim according to rules, functionaries shouldn't make political speeches on public broadcasters.
War of words after Doordarshan rejects Tripura CM's speech
Yesterday, Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to air Tripura CM Manik Sarkar's Independence Day speech. They advised him to "reshape" the six-minute speech after it had been recorded. Sarkar refused; it stayed unaired. Afterwards, a war of words erupted between Left Front members and Prasar Bharti. CPM accused BJP of using their "nefarious nexus with TMC and IPFT" ahead of state elections.
What did Sarkar's 'unacceptable' speech contain?
According to Sarkar, secular values are under attack. "Conspiracies are underway to create undesirable divisions in society." "These unholy tendencies cannot be harbored or tolerated. These disruptive attempts are contrary to the goals, dreams and ideals of our freedom struggle," the speech said.
No rule was violated, insists government
CPM accused the Modi government of "using Prasar Bharati as a department of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting", not an autonomous body. A government official responded, "No rule was violated. The call was taken by the broadcasters at their own level." If it was a case of government pressure, "we would have had problems with other CMs too", the official added.