Methods to Try and Silence the Media would only Backfire
Condemning the attack on journalists at Mediview nursing home by State Police Biman Bose said, "There should be no obstruction for the media to fetch news or needed resources. Attack on the media personnel has to be regarded as serious crime and threat to democracy." The leader of the opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra criticised the whole event and said that administration must not curb independence of the media.
The event of reported suicide by one patient at the Mediview nursing home drew attention of the media on 13th December. After the AMRI disaster it is unavoidable that any kind of mishap in health sector will create sensation in the media and society too. But somehow the state police had reservation on not letting the journalists enter into the Mediview nursing home. The number of media personnel they were resisting to cover the mishap was about 300. Clearly it was the police and some civil guards who made the situation worse by unleashing massive lathi charge and vandalising the camera or some other belongings of the reporters.
Given the nasty circumstances, things could have gone much worse. Condemning the attack, the Editors Guild of India pointed out that such methods to try and silence the media would only backfire.
The rise in attacks on journalists in India is indeed a matter of concern. It is also heartening to see more and more journalists and their organisations venture into new areas of investigative journalism, even if they involve more resourcefulness, ingenuity, and risk to limb and life.
It is well known that communalism and chauvinism of all shades are fiercely intolerant of criticism and dissent. Unless the state ensures that the fundamental rights in the secular Constitution, especially freedom of speech and expression, are meant to be enjoyed by all citizens, they will remain only on paper.