Tripura CM alleges DD, AIR refused to broadcast his I-Day speech

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

Sarkar, a Communist Party of India-Marxist leader, has been the Chief Minister for 19 years.

Sarkar, in his unaired speech, said that "unity in diversity" is the heritage of India and that the strong sense of secularism has kept the people of the nation going. However, they informed him that the speech can not be carried as it was and asked him to "reshape" it, the CPI-M said in a statement.

However, when the public broadcasters sent Sarkar a letter asking him to "reshape" the content, he refused to do so.

He said the News Unit of the local station of Doordarshan at Agartala gave wide coverage to the public address of the Chief Minister and the development activities of the state government.

Yechury said the DD was "not the private property" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "instructing his cronies to black out voices" of the opposition, including that of an elected CM.

Calling it an "act of censorship" and "trampling upon the autonomy of Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan and AIR", CPI (M) said the step was reminiscent of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.

Contrary to what media reports, Doordarshan said that there was no attempt to black out the chief minister's speech.

The public broadcaster channel Doordarshan had recorded Tripura CM's speech on 12 Aug which was to be broadcast on 15 August.

An official statement from the Chief Minister's Office said that All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan Kendra (DDK), Agartala, recorded Sarkar's speech on August 12 to broadcast and telecast, repectively, on August 15.

"In his communication, Sanjiv Dosajh, Assistant Director of Programmes (Policy) for Director General, wrote, ".AIR/Prsar Bharati will however be more than happy if the Hon'ble Chief Minister agrees to reshape the content (his speech) making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiments of the people of India at large".

"This is an insult to people of Tripura and Constitutional rights of states", said the CPI (M).

"Modi government should refrain from using Prasar Bharati as a department of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting", the politburo release stated.

CPM leader accuses the Modi government of killing the democracy by not airing the Speech given by Tripura CM Manik Sarkar on 15 August.

"Mr. Modi talks about cooperative federalism".

Tagging the tweet, Yechury hit out at the central government saying the channel's refusal to air Sarkar's speech was "illegal".

"If this isn't authoritarianism & undeclared Emergency, what is?"

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