General Secretary of Congress Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been relentlessly questioning the ruling party BJP for its policies and its failures.
On Thursday, Vadra alleged that the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is constantly attacking journalists who seek answers from it.
Taking to Twitter, she also posted a media report by BBC on the recent arrests of journalists in the state after they reported on matters which did not show the government in good light.
“Journalists are not there just for praising wearing blindfolds. Their job is to make news on public issues and seek answers from the government,” Priyanka Gandhi said in her tweet.
“But the UP BJP government is constantly attacking such journalists. Is the BJP afraid of the issues of common people?” the Congress general secretary said.
In a recent case, just a few days after a video surfaced showing children of primary government school in Uttar Pradesh having salt and roti in their mid-day meal, the authorities filed an FIR against the journalist who reported the story. Instead of rectifying their mistake, the Block Education Officer of the area accused the journalist, and a representative of the local village head of conspiracy to defame the Uttar Pradesh government.
In June this year, journalist Prashant Kanojia was booked by the Uttar Pradesh police on charges of trying to malign the image of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with an objectionable comment on Twitter. The head of a Noida-based news channel that had broadcast the video Prashant Kanojia posted was also arrested, along with one of the editors of the channel.
In a recent tweet the former president of Congress and MP from Waynad commented on the state of media saying, “Congratulations to the Modi Govt on #100DaysNoVikas, the continued subversion of democracy, a firmer stranglehold on a submissive media to drown out criticism and a glaring lack of leadership, direction & plans where it’s needed the most – to turnaround our ravaged economy.”
Congratulations to the Modi Govt on #100DaysNoVikas, the continued subversion of democracy, a firmer stranglehold on a submissive media to drown out criticism and a glaring lack of leadership, direction & plans where it’s needed the most – to turnaround our ravaged economy.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 8, 2019
The state of journalism in the country has been questioned multiple times by the leaders of the Opposition who believe that the media does not question the government anymore and indulges in praising everything that the government does.
India has fallen two places in the recent World Press Freedom Index, from 138 in 2018 to 140 in 2019. Describing the state of media in India, international organisation Reporters Without Borders said, “Violence against journalists – including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians – is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India.”