Popular Front of India chairman O M A Salam in a statement called the act of Narendra Modi government banning two Malayalam news channels – Asianet News and Media One – 48 hours for their coverage of the anti-Muslim pogrom in North East Delhi, an open assault on the essential fourth pillar of democracy and the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
In its orders, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the two channels appeared to have covered the violence on February 25 in a manner that “highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community”. O M A Salam termed this allegation baseless and meant only to terrorise those marginal sections of visual media that still dare to remain independent and critical about wrong doings of RSS-BJP and their governments. So far the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting could be found only in sleeper cell when the majority of Hindi and English ‘Made for Modi Media’ were continously spitting the venom communal hatred against religious minorities, their endeavours, organisations and leaders. The central government is particularly targeting vernacular media houses in South India, because more they retain their spine in exercising their independence than their counterparts in other parts of India. Previously the central government followed by the state government denied advertisements to Thejas Malayam daily continuously for many years ultimately leading to its close down. But very few sane voices were heard from media circles against that act of brutality.
O M A Salam stated that under the Hindutwa government the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is made Ministry of Information Blockade. He expressed solidarity with Asianet News and Media One that have been targeted by the present authoritarian government.