India

India

Threat from Modi’s nationalism

With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media. Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which “sedition” is punishable by life imprisonment. No journalist has so far been convicted of sedition but the threat encourages self-censorship. The government has also introduced new foreign funding regulations to limit international influence. Coverage of regions that the authorities regard as sensitive, such as Kashmir, continues to be very difficult, and there are no protective mechanisms. On the first day of a wave of protests in Kashmir in July 2016, the Internet was cut by the military and was often interrupted thereafter to prevent communication between protesters and prevent coverage by the media and citizen journalists. Journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government’s tacit consent.

136
in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-3

133 in 2016

Global score

-0.23

43.17 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2017
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