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Jaishankar asks UK & Canada why they allowed ‘unfounded’ remarks on Indian press freedom

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar was referring to ‘The Caravan’ executive editor Vinod K. Jose’s presentation in London on the erosion of press freedom in India.

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has raised the issue of “unwarranted remarks” about the freedom of press in India with the British and Canadian High Commissions, sources told ThePrint.

He was referring to events that occurred on 10-11 July when, at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, organised by the United Kingdom and Canada, The Caravan magazine’s executive editor Vinod K. Jose made a presentation on the incidents of erosion of press freedom in India in the wake of rising religious intolerance.

Sources said the external affairs ministry has told the two countries that “it is unacceptable and unfortunate that their governments have provided a platform where totally unfounded remarks were allowed to be made”.

Also read: Caravan editor wants UK and Canada’s vigilance on India’s press freedom after London spat

‘No intention to malign any govt’

Diplomatic sources told ThePrint that there was no intention to malign any government through the event, which was attended by reputed journalists from around the world.

At a media briefing earlier this week, British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith had stated that a range of diverse views were expressed in the forum and that event was organised for the “exchange” of views, and not to “supress” them.

“The Government of India is entitled to express its views, and we listened to them,” he added.

Prasar Bharati chairman’s report 

According to sources, Jaishankar’s move to take it up with the high commissions was based on a report by Prasar Bharati chairman A. Surya Prakash, who was part of an Indian delegation to the conference and had got into a spat with Jose over his presentation.

“Those who raise a question mark about press freedom in India must be really tone deaf… In fact, (of) the present political leaders of the country from across parties, there are a large number who have fought for restoration of democracy and press freedom in the mid-1970s in this country. For them, democracy is very clear. You must see the plurality of news media in India,” Surya Prakash said.

Also read: Indian media controlled by a few, a risk to press freedom and pluralism: Study


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  1. It is sickening to listen to apologists for the government, who wear their internment in 1975-1977 like a badge of honour. The Emergency imposed by Mrs Gandhi lasted for less than two years. The currently ongoing media manipulation, by the government, is in its sixth year.

  2. Hirelings of the paid media have no compunctions about blatantly spewing lies to malign their own country, what to talk of their country’s government. Given a platform in the West, their pitch is the more intense. The Communist rag, Caravan, and its notorious liars like Vinod Jose are a case in point.

  3. Republic TV and Arnab Goswamy. The ideal presentation of Indian journalism. Government should bring a bill in parliament. Add to the list bills cleared in not time

  4. There is no “overt” attack on press freedom in India. There is “covert” attack, that some political commentators keep insinuating. But I think the reality is more weird – – a large number of India’s journalists have been capitulating of their own free will.

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