What is the importance of the freedom of the press?
Why the arrest is seen as political vendetta?
- First, the editor-in-chief of Republic Television, Arnab Goswami was very critical of the Maharashtra state government on several issues
- On the migrant crisis.
- He alleged a communal angle in the lynching of three men in Palghar district.
- He accused the Mumbai police commissioner and the Maharashtra chief minister of collusion in an alleged cover-up of the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case.
- Second, recently Republic TV was accused of a TRP scam and a case was booked with the FIRs naming several in Republic’s newsroom.
- Third, Goswami has been arrested in a case in which the Maharashtra police had filed a closure report last year citing lack of evidence.
All these incidents reinforce the suspicion that the police are working with partisanship.
How it affects democracy?
- Attack on media persons for political vendetta reduces the spaces for dissent and freedom of speech. For example, journalists being booked under draconian laws of sedition or UAPA in some states.
- It will only lead to the polarisation of the public space and further reduces the scope for independent journalism.
Media ensures dissemination of truth, holds the powerful to account, speaks for the weak and those without a voice. Its sanctity must be protected for the democracy to thrive.