By Muslim Mirror Staff
India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index fallen from 142 in 2021 to 150 in 2022 out of 180 countries. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) cited “violence against journalists, the politically partisan media and the concentration of media ownership” to conclude that the press freedom is under threat in India.
The RSF, in its report, is critical of Narendra Modi-led Hindu national government in connection with attacks on press freedom.
“Things changed radically in the mid-2010s, when Narendra Modi became prime minister and engineered a spectacular rapprochement between his party, the BJP, and the big families dominating the media,” The RSF report said.
The report further took note of the vilification of Muslims in connection with Covid-19 by a number of TV channels. “At the height of the Covid-19 crisis, some TV hosts blamed the Muslim minority for the spread of the virus,” it said.
According to the report, an average of three or four journalists are killed in connection with their work every year. Media-persons are also subjected to all kinds of physical violence including police violence, ambushes by political activists, and deadly reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt local officials.
On the suppression of free speech in Indian-administered Kashmir, the report said the situation there is still very worrisome. Journalists in the region are often harassed by police and paramilitaries, with some being subjected to so-called “provisional” detention for several years.