The directive to NDTV India to go off air for a day over Pathankot attack coverage was put on hold after an appeal from the channel and “in sync with the government’s liberal democratic ethos and principles”, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said tonight.
In a series of tweets, he said the NDA government has “no ill-will against anyone” and “believes in freedom of expression” unlike the “Congress which muzzled free speech in 1975 & between 2004-2014.”
The I&B ministry had on November 2 ordered that hindi channel NDTV India be taken off air for a day concluding that it had violated the guidelines in its coverage of the Pathankot terror attack in January.
This evening the government decided to put the order on hold till a review is conducted.
Shortly after the government took the decision to put the order on hold, Naidu said, “The top leadership of NDTV had sought a meeting with me. Today we met & during our meeting they requested revocation of ban on NDTV India.”
The minister said the NDTV leadership presented an appeal to him, to which he said he will have a look and then decided that the government directive will be on hold till the process is completed.
“The Inter Ministerial Committee is clear that NDTV has violated due process & procedure & compromised nat’l security in their coverage of Pathankot attack,” Naidu tweeted.
“But, in sync with the Government’s liberal democratic ethos & principles, this decision was taken with regard to NDTV,” he added.
The minister further said that “unlike the Congress which muzzled free speech in 1975 & between 2004-2014, the NDA government believes in freedom of expression.”
He said, “GoI has no ill-will against anyone. We are here to fulfil aspirations of 125 crore people & fulfil the unprecedented mandate people gave us.”
In yet another tweet, Naidu said, “All of us in GOI fought the emergency tooth & nail and will resist any attack on freedom of expression & defeat those forces.”