"Saffronistaion of news": Opposition slams govt for deal between Prasar Bharati & RSS backed news agency
Prasar Bharati canceled its subscription with the Press Trust of India (PTI) on the pretext that PTI’s coverage of the border row between India and China was "anti-national"
Several intellectuals and opposition leaders including Kerala Chief Minister Pinrayi Vijayan slammed the Modi government for an exclusive deal signed between public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and RSS-linked news agency Hindusthan Samachar. After the deal, Hindusthan Samachar, replacing PTI, will be the solo provider of news to the public broadcaster.
Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.
According to a report, former Union information and broadcasting minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari had claimed that Prasar Bharati was under pressure from the Narendra Modi government to remove PTI and UNI and induct Hindusthan Samachar as the primary news agency for its broadcasting.
Vijayan accused the government of “saffronistaion” of news by making Hindusthan Samachar the sole news source for Prasar Bharati.
CPIM's youth wing, the Democratic Youth Federation of India or DYFI staged a protest on Monday outside the office of the All India Radio in Thiruvananthapuram.
"Prasar Bharati will now entirely rely on the RSS-backed news agency Hindusthan Samachar for its daily news feed. Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan & AIR, has signed an exclusive contract with Hindusthan Samachar, after it cancelled its subscription with PTI," said activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
"It's now official! DD and AIR will exclusively broadcast as "news" only the content fed by RSS! Prasar Bharati has terminated its contract with PTI & engaged Hindustan Samachar established by Golwalkar & Apte, founder of VHP, to provide news feed," said Sitaram Yechury of CPIM.
"Hindustan Samachar, controlled by RSS replaces PTI as news agency for Doordarshan and AIR. An exclusive contract has been signed for this purpose by Prasar Bharati with Hindustan Samachar. Instead of granting autonomy to Prasar Bharati GoI has decided to bring it under RSS heel," said Thomas Isaac of CPIM.
"The move to remove PTI as the primary news agency and replace it with the little-known Hindusthan Samachar is not only aimed at directly ensuring the public broadcaster provides positive media coverage of the government – which it does, anyway – but also to weaken PTI and boost a saffron-tinted news agency that has been struggling to survive," said The Wire.
Founded in 1948 by Shivram Shankar Apte, a senior RSS pracharak and co-founder of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindusthan Samachar claims to be "India's first mutlilingual news agency subscribed by more than 200 newspapers and almost all the news channels, including Door Darshan (DD)."
Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram
Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines