[Reader-list] IHT in India

Aniruddha Shankar karim at sarai.net
Thu Jul 8 16:05:26 IST 2004

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Shivam Vij wrote:
| Re: the article below
| I don't understand what the fuss is all about. The government of India
| and the anti-FDI-in-print-media lobby, both are rather dumb to assume
| that I cannot go to the website of the International Herald Tribune,

I don't actually think the government is dumb. The Indian government's
treatment of the Internet and the pakistan government's treatment of the
Internet and English medium newspapers amounts to the same thing. Both
governments believe that these media reach only the elite in their

Assuming they could censor the Internet, it makes far more political
sense to avoid the negative publicity that censorship of the Internet
would cause. In Pakistan's case, they can also point out it's largely
unfettered English media to international audiences as an example of
press freedom, regardless of how irrelevant it is in the Pakistani mass
media context.

I don't know if they still are but the Government of India used to jam
the brodcasts of Radio Pakistan. the GOI still has a huge amount of
control over the content broadcasted by satellite into India as they can
just deny uplink access to any channel they please and because of the
mass market that is India, no multinational wants to take that risk.
Dont' expect a Tehelka type channel in India anytime soon.

They could consider IHT the thin edge of the wedge... let one in and
soon a host will follow, with content that would be far more
objectionable than the IHT. Alternatively, they could be of the mind
that the English-paper-reading public in India is large enough and
sufficiently influential enough that they want to prevent them from
being exposed to "improper" content. Wouldn't do, would it, to have,
say, a historical account of the assurances autonomy / plebiscite that
Prime Ministers from Nehru to Rao have given landing on doorsteps from
Diu to Digboi, would it ?

- --
Aniruddha 'Karim' Shankar
The Sarai Programme

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