The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) has given a statement dissociating itself from the meeting held in the Press Club of India on June 9, 2017 in New Delhi, in support of NDTV. The meet was organised to show solidarity to NDTV against the CBI raids on its promoters.
In the statement issued, the FCC President S Venkat Narayan said, “This is to clarify that the FCC was NOT involved in the meeting which the Press Club of India had organised last week on the NDTV owners’ problems with the CBI. We are for Freedom of the Press. However, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the CBI says that the action against NDTV owners has nothing to do with press freedom.”
The statement comes as another jolt to NDTV in its crucial time. FCC also slams NDTV for their allegation on the Government along with the endless rant on press freedom. This statement from FCC is a clear remark on the adamant views of the Press Club of India, who have literally formed a brigade against the Government.
FCC is the same organisation that had earlier condemned the Government’ one-day ban on NDTV India news channel and appealed to the Government to immediately withdraw it. At that time, the FCC also said that the ban violates Freedom of Press in the world’s largest democracy but this time FCC decided to disassociate itself from it.
Since the CBI raided the home of the NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy, a campaign has been launched by a section of the media, alleging that the Freedom of Press is under threat in BJP Government. But this is not for the first time; earlier also the owners of media channels had faced CBI raids and enquiry. Sakshi group, Eenadu, Deccan Chronicle, Sahara media, Mahuaa News and P7, all of them were taken to task by various governments in the past mostly under UPA Government. Some of the owners even landed in jail. At that time nobody shouted that Freedom of Press was in danger.
If you go into the details of case history, Income Tax Department had started a probe against NDTV in 2011, when Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister. This is simply a case of fraud, nothing else. Action against NDTV owners has nothing to do with Press Freedom.