Most media companies are scared of Modi government which is not allowing the press to work freely. The already deteriorating situation of press freedom in India got further hit as India lost two steps to fall at 138th position in the world.
By Rakesh Raman
It is observed that a number of top media properties succumbed to Modi government’s pressure and deleted the story related to BJP president Amit Shah’s demonetization scam.
It is alleged a recent RTI revealed that Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) accepted the highest cash among all District Cooperatives Central Banks (DCCBs) after November, 2016, demonetization exercise announced by PM Narendra Modi.
Reports suggest that ADCB accepted deposits worth Rs. 745.59 crore of demonetized currency in just 5 days. The issue assumes grave significance because Amit Shah is the director of the bank.
A number of news outlets published the story directly blaming Amit Shah for misusing Modi’s demonetization for the banking fraud. These included News18, The New Indian Express, The Economic Times, First Post, and a slew of others.
Since most Indian media companies are highly corrupt and unethical, some of their sites presumably succumbed to government pressure and either removed the story or removed Amit Shah’s name from it.
However, you can clearly see that Amit Shah’s name still appears in the URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address of deleted stories.
For example, the following URLs of News18 and The New Indian Express show that the text has been deleted unscrupulously, but the headlines of their stories mention Amit Shah as an accused.
Headline: Bank With Amit Shah As Director Collected Most Banned Notes Among DCCBS: RTI
The New Indian Express
Headline: Cooperative Bank With Amit Shah As A Director Collected Highest Amount Of Demonetised Notes
These are not only the headlines that exist even on the deleted pages, you can also read the deleted articles. For example, you can click here to read the article that News18 published on June 21, 2018 and then deleted it.
The original article that News18 published said, “According to the bank’s website, (Amit) Shah continues to be a director with the bank and has been in that position for several years. He was also the bank’s chairman in 2000. ADCB’s total deposits on March 31, 2017, were Rs 5,050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore.”
The article added that “Right behind ADCB, is the Rajkot District Cooperative Bank, whose chairman Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya is a cabinet minister in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s government. It got deposits of old currencies worth Rs 693.19 crore.”
While Indian media houses are highly unprofessional, they do not understand that digital media is supposed to work like print media. You cannot change or remove a story once it is published.
You can only add corrigendum or corrections at the bottom of the article without changing the original text or pictures. Most stories stay in web cache even when you delete them. You can read these deleted web pages in the cache.
Indian media companies are scared of Modi government which is not allowing the press to work freely. The already deteriorating situation of press freedom in India got further hit as India lost two steps to fall at 138th position in the world.
The global media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has released its World Press Freedom Index for 2018 which shows that journalists in India are under increasing threat posed by the ruling BJP regime headed by PM Modi.
Particularly, the Modi government is not allowing the press to publish corruption stories involving BJP leaders. Since these corruption cases are not getting reported, Modi and his colleagues falsely claim that corruption is not happening. However, corruption is rampant in Modi government.
A new CMS-India Corruption Study (CMS-ICS) 2018 reveals that corruption has increased considerably under the Modi government.
Similarly, global anti-corruption organization Transparency International has lowered India’s rank from last year’s position of 79 to 81 this year. According to the Transparency data, India with a poor score of 40 is more corrupt than countries such as China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Mauritius.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. Earlier, he has worked with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert.
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