[Reader-list] IHT in India

Shivam Vij shivamvij at gmail.com
Fri Jul 9 13:24:44 IST 2004

Dear Aniruddha,

I agree with all of what you say. When I said the government was being
dumb, I didn't mean it, I was just being sarcastic. But perhaps free
speech activists in India re being dumb by not speaking out against
the Union of India's paranoid decision to block publication of the

I didn't quite understand whether you are against the publication of
IHT from India or for it, and by implication your views on foreign
'investment' in the Indian media. You wrote: "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." IHT
is objectionable content? What really amounts to being
'objectionable'? Hypothetically, if the government allows foreign
papers, and a Pakistani paper publishes from India, and instigates
communal violence here, surely the government can ban it? If a paper
prints 'propaganda' against India, public opinion will make the paper
mend its ways. But to ban al foreign papers by presuming that they
will publish what is detrimental to the Indian state, is downright
silly, paranoid and archaic.


On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:05:26 +0530, Aniruddha Shankar <karim at sarai.net> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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
> countries.
> 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 ?
> cheers,
> - --
> Aniruddha 'Karim' Shankar
> The Sarai Programme
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