Media is considered as fourth pillar of democracy of India. Freedom of press in India is protected legally by our Constitution. Media bias and misleading information is restricted under Constitutional amendments as mentioned in Indian Constitution. The media crime is supervised by Indian Penal Code which is applicable to all aspects of criminal law. There are certain restrictions applied on media such as defamation law, barriers to information access etc. But in recent days news of attacks on media freedom are quiet regular. Here the question Is Indian Media Actually Free? Arises.
Media has a job to bring pros and cons of actions of Government of country and state and appreciate or criticize their actions. Nowadays politicians are unable to handle criticism and try to attack media personnel personally. Certain politicians and political parties want their personal media or call it paparazzi media which never questions their actions and remains biased for them.
Recently a case of Republic T.V editor in chief and Congress party got to hear where Mr. Arnab Goswami raised question on 3 party government of Maharshtra on brutal mob lynching of 2 Sadhus and 1 more person in Palghar district of state of Maharshtra. There he asked the questions from president of Indian National Congress calling her former name in a debate show broadcasted on his channel. At night when he and his wife were driving to their home two goons belonging from Youth Congress tried to attack him with acid and tried to do an acid attack. Multiple FIRs were registered against him in different states of country. Just for asking questions and taking former name a journalist have to go through torture like acid attacks. This is the reason why we can say that that press and media are not free in this Country. If a channel raises questions on a state government for poor handling of state machinery multiple FIRs got registered for entire staff of the channel. Regular summons for 12 hours were given to the channel staff. Recently when Republic raised questions in front of Maharashtra government regarding death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and drug abuse going in Mumbai, Maharashtra govt. Used entire police machinery to intimidate the channel and its staff. Police misused its power for taking vendetta from the channel and badly intimidated Mr. Goswami for asking questions from government. Police reached his residence and surrounded his home with sniper rifles in their hands. Few senior officers barged into his house by kicking the door and tried dragging him with his collar. They pushed him in a police van and allegedly assaulted him physically.
His detention has finally showed us what is the condition of press freedom and freedom of speech in India.
Not only this we had heard numerous such cases of journalists being assaulted badly for raising questions and criticizing government for their actions as in Odisha, similar case had happened with a channel OTV. According to OTV, Odisha police has registered about 20 cases against the channel. It claimed that it is being hounded for exposing the widespread corruption including Covid-19 funds. Seeking a y a neutral national the channel claimed that out if 5 employees who were arrested midnight two were intimidated and compelled to resign when in custody.
These cases indicates that press and media freedom are only words in India and Politicians break the laws as per their convenience.