India falls two places on the global press freedom index; Javadekar says the media have absolute freedom

NEW DELHI: Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar On Sunday, he said that the media enjoyed complete freedom in India, and that the government would run polls that tended to portray a bad image of press freedom in the country.

Javadekar's comments were in the context of the latest report compiled by the global body Reporters Without Borders which said that India had fallen two places in the global press freedom index: from 140 to 142, in a list of 180 countries. Norway is in first place in the index, while China is at 177. North Korea is at 180.

According to the survey, India's neighbors Bhutan , Nepal and Sri Lanka are ranked higher than India in the index. The survey said the government-imposed communications blackout, which made it difficult for journalists to report on what was happening in the region, had played a major role in India's ranking.

The World Press Freedom Index 2020, published on April 22, said that although the security situation for journalists in India improved because there were no killings of journalists in 2019, against six in 2018, there were constant violations of press freedom. including police violence against journalists, ambushes by political activists and retaliation instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials. ”

India's rank went from 122 in 2010 to 142 this year, dropping 20 places in a decade.

However, Javadekar argued that the media had the power to inform and enlighten people. “The media in India enjoy absolute freedom. We will expose, sooner rather than later, those polls that tend to portray a bad image of press freedom in India, he said on Twitter.

Congress, the main opposition party, alluded to the index and the deterioration of India's ranking to claim that the press was under attack by BJP. India fell two places on the World Press Freedom Index to 142. In commemoration, we must remember that the BJP is committed to destroying this fourth pillar of democracy and we should not let that happen, Congress said on Twitter, adding that journalists at home you should not be afraid.

To all journalists, we would say daro mat (don't panic), he added.