The Left ‘Liberal’? Kerala Diktat Aimed At Putting Curbs On Journalists Draws Flak From Editors And Politicos Alike

A Government of Kerala directive on 15 November regarding role of the media has created quite a stir as the industry at large is seeing it as an attempt to muzzle the press. A directive issued by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Subrata Biswas disallows all media establishments from questioning VIPs, Ministers in public places.

Accusing the government of encouraging a ‘police raj’, the Opposition has been blasting the communist government of imposing restrictions on the media. In latest news, the Editors Guild of India led by Shekhar Gupta has condemned the directive and has asked the Pinayari Vijayan government to revoke the directive.

The statement issued by the Guild reads, “The Guild notes a circular issued by the Kerala State Home Department on November 15, 2018. It is a brazen attempt at restraining the movement of media persons while they are discharging their professional duties.”

The circular prevents the media from approaching the Chief Minister, other ministers and higher officials except through the Information and Public Relations department of the state. This is regressive and a direct assault on press freedom as it forbids journalists from seeking comments from ministers and senior officials, imposes curbs in their movement of inside the government secretariat and makes senior government representatives attending public functions out of bounds for them.”

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