Is our Press really free?

Is our Press really free?

Sir

Journalism is considered as the fourth pillar of India. It is an intrinsic part of society. The two cannot exist without each other. Society depends on the journalist for all kinds of information.  It acts as the watchdog of society and becomes voice for the voiceless.

But in the past few years the crimes against journalists have been increasing tremendously. In year 2016, May 13 a Hindustan Hindi daily senior journalist Rajdeo Ranjan was short by unidentified gunmen. His death saw immense coverage in media. The same year Brij Kishore Brijesh was killed by the unidentified men.

Last year 2017, September 5, Gauri Lankesh’s a prominent journalist; activist was shot outside of her house in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. Her murder raised the questions about the sanctity of freedom of press, part of fundamental right to speech and expression guaranteed under article 19 of the constitution.

Same year September 20, another journalist Santanu Bhowmik (TV reporter)was also murdered while he was covering Raasta Roko . Later on 21st November Sudip Datta Bhumik was killed by a police officer of Tripura State Rifles during altercation

This year again a hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar reporter Navin Nischal was murdered on 25th March while he was returning back doing his coverage work.

These do not include the many more journalists, who on a daily  basis suffer from non-fatal attacks, such as torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations. Furthermore, there are specific risks faced by women journalists, including sexual attacks.

According to the CPJ’s research most of the victims (journalists) covering politics or corruption, crime, business, human rights, culture and war were killed.

In simple words journalists are killed because of their profession. They are being curtailed to do justice with their work.  They are killed in order cover the truth or better to say truth is being killed.  This affects the entire reporting system. Small town reporters, working outside the major Indian metropolises of Delhi and Mumbai, are often at risk.

It gets worse when attackers of the journalists roam around freely without getting punished.  The people lose trust and confidence in its own judiciary system which is meant to protect everyone.

 

Yours truly

Seema Kumari

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