In India, the Last Few Bastions Of The Free Press Stand Guard Against Rising Authoritarianism – By Vidya Krishnan
….India, where the free press has played a crucial role in protecting democratic institutions since independence in 1947, is now one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an unparalleled assault on truth, with the free press cast as the enemy of the state. The response to the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui is a case in point.
On July 16, Siddiqui was killed by Taliban terrorists in Kandahar, Afghanistan…. Condolences poured in from around the world, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the U.S. State Department, and United Nations secretary general António Guterres expressing grief at the tragic news. Modi chose not to acknowledge Siddiqui’s death. Meanwhile, the prime minister’s followers called Siddiqui – an Indian Muslim murdered by the Taliban – a “jihadi.”
Indian journalists are painfully aware of the elemental rage directed at them by the government as well as by audiences. Many journalists, including myself, spent most of July 16-17 receiving death threats with warnings of a “similar fate” awaiting us….