Thiruvananthapuram: Condemning the ban on the telecast of two Kerala based TV channels, the ruling CPI-M and the Congress party on Friday termed the decision of the Union government undemocratic and said it should be opposed by all.
The order banning Asianet News and Media One for 48 hours starting Friday 7.30 p.m. came from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after their coverage of the recent violence in the national capital last month.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists -- the biggest trade union of the journalists in the state -- also condemned this act and has called for a protest march to the General Post office on Saturday morning.
State CPI-M secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in a statement issued here on Friday night said this is nothing but a ploy of the Centre to threaten the media for coming out with truths.
"The Centre is silent on the perpetrators of the violence and also the Delhi Police for allowing things to drift in this manner. Instead of taking action against such forces, the Centre has tried to take on the media, which exposed things. This reveals the fascist face of the Centre. This is not acceptable in a democracy," said Balakrishnan.
Leader of opposition and Congress veteran Ramesh Chennithala said that the Centre is taking on the media for revealing the truth of what happened in Delhi.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to silence the media as the fascist forces now want the media to bow before them. This act of gagging the media is totally undemocratic and unacceptable," wrote Chennithala in his Face book.
C.L.Thomas, Editor-in-chief of Media One Channel said they have paid the price of reporting news exactly the way it happened.
"This is nothing but a blatant attack on the freedom of the press. The I&B Ministry says that we reported against the RSS and the Delhi Police and we also reported that no FIR was filed by the police against the speech of BJP leader Kapil Mishra. Even during the Emergency days, such acts never took place," said Thomas.
Asianet News is the first news channel that was launched in Kerala in the mid nineties, while Media One was launched a few years back.