The Election Commission pulled the Information and Technology ministry over the broadcasting of NaMo TV. The channel operated by the Bharatiya Janata Party, telecasts live electoral rallies of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also past speeches of the party. In short it’s a propanada channel that the political party is running.
After being telecasted for days, the Election Commission took note of the launch of NaMo TV and asked a report from the ministry of I&T. The ministry responded to the Election Commission stating that NaMo TV was not a licenced channel, but a direct to home advertising platform.
In the reply, the ministry told EC that the BJP were incurring the costs for the channel.
The 24*7 channel went live on the 31st of March, it’s named after Narendra Modi, it uses the Mr. Modi’s picture as the logo. Apart from broadcasting rallies live, the channel promotes and advertises the achievements of the government, personal achievements of Narendra Modi, and broadcasts interviews of prominent BJP leaders.
The Congress and AAP have raised the matter with the EC asking why was such a channel launched after the model code of conduct came into force. AAP in the letter said the channel went against the principle of creating a level playing field for all parties, a prerequisite for elections according to Supreme Court of India and the Election Commission of India.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission also sent notices to Doordarshan asking them how it ran an hour long live broadcast of PM Modi’s public address Main bhi chowkidar on the 31st of March.
Opinion: Nikhil Kukreja
What’s the need for the BJP to run it’s own channel when most of the media firms spread their propaganda on a daily basis? Why should the election commission believe the I&T ministry? Technically it’s again run by the BJP.
However, spreading propaganda via channels is not new, in Tamil Nadu one or the other politician definitely owns a news channels, there is propaganda but it’s not the way like what NaMo TV is doing.
It’s not just about one channel NaMo TV, it’s the way this government is regulating and controlling, what one watches and listens. Movies, news, and television shows everyone is forced to please the high command.
If things progress in similar fashion for the next few years our nation would be called a namesake democracy, autocracy and dictatorship will treat rulers ‘God-ly’ and this may eventually become a reality.