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Scrutiny
  
Playing ball Mr.Minister?
There’s no valid reason for preventing FM channels to air daily news
16/11/2006

Now read this. Be it the Mumbai blast of 7/11 or the torrential rains of 2005 (both bringing Mumbai to a stand still), when the mobile networks were jammed and information about near and dear ones was the rarest of the rare phenomenon, when no minister or government information was available, those were the indispensable FM channels, which had come to the rescue of hapless Mumbaikars. Our very own and faceless, yet famous radio jockeys (RJs) stayed awake throughout the night, not just entertaining the millions stranded in jams, but also relentlessly helping people locate their beloved ones. These are the very FM channels, which our government would make us believe are not good enough to foray into current affairs and news programs because they might provoke certain sections of the society.

Strange things happen in this country, but the strangest happens when dear honourable Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, states in an interview to BBC that giving the right to FM channels to air their views might lead to a catastrophe if done in haste. In an era where private television channels – many owned by foreign companies – have the same freedom, such an argument seems mere balderdash!

The government could have had easily provided a more logical argument by supporting its current objections with a future timetable of when the much demanded media freedom, a basic requirement of true democracy, is allowed. But flatly refusing the same is nothing but a straightforward kick in the belly, not just for private operators, but also for democracy itself. Is it mere coincidence that the honourable Mr. Dasmunshi is also the President of the All India Footbal Federation? We’re not laughing :-)

By:- BE Edit Bureau
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