Modi Govt’s Digital Media Rules Framed After Ministers Wanted to ‘Neutralise’ Independent News
The recent move of the Narendra Modi government to ‘regulate’ digital news media to counter ‘fake news’ has likely stemmed from a roadmap chalked out by a group of ministers (GoM) in mid-2020 to “neutralise” independent news media as it “generates a lot of heat”, a leaked GoM document and a report in The Caravan have shown.
The news magazine, which reviewed the GoM report compiled after six meetings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,…. underlines, “One of the core concerns of the (GoM) report has been voiced in an observation by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the union minister of minority affairs, ‘We should have a strategy to neutralise the people who are writing against the government without facts and set false narratives /spread fake news.”
“The choice of words is revealing, as is the fact that the report does not spell out what a fake narrative is and how the government chooses to define it. Though its mandate was couched in cautious terms, the GoM’s report clearly sought to improve the image of the government in the media, and there is no ambiguity in how it proposed to go about it,” The Caravan emphasises.