AIR Scrambles to Translate Sitharaman’s Defence of Rafale, Excludes Opposition Remarks (Jan 7, 2019, The Wire)
Barely hours after the Congress accused Nirmala Sitharaman of avoiding its questions in parliament on the Rafale aircraft deal, public broadcaster Prasar Bharti scrambled to translate the defence minister’s marathon speech defending the deal – while expressly leaving out the remarks and questions of opposition MPs.
On January 5, an order to translate Sitharaman’s speech was sent by the Directorate General of All India Radio (AIR) to its programming departments in Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Chennai, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram, alerting them that the text of Sitharaman’s speech would reach their official email IDs by midnight.
These capital stations were instructed to return translations of the speech to Delhi “positively by 11 am Monday” – the following day – with a copy marked to the mail ID of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme of the prime minister. According to sources in the information and broadcasting ministry, only the minister’s speech was needed: “no need to translate the remarks and questions of other Hon’ble members or version of Hon’ble Speaker”.…
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