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Why is India the fourth most dangerous country for journalists?


30 Aug 2013
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Take the case of Joginder Singh, a freelance journalist from Bareilly who was burnt alive, allegedly by Uttar Pradesh dairy minister Ram Murti Singh Yadav.

Singh’s fault: He had accused the minister of being involved in illegal mining and land grabbing in northern India.

A few days later, Sandeep Kothari, owner of a newspaper called ‘Dainik Kranti’ in Madhya Pradesh, was set ablaze due to alleged personal rivalry with a local gang.

Another journalist by the name of Ashok Kumar Namdev, working with a national daily, was assaulted by a group of rowdies involved in illegal mining in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh.

Although not a first for India, such criminal acts against journalists, especially in small towns, have been on the rise across the country.

Even as journalists across the nation condemn such acts, the question arises as to why journalists have become victims of such crimes and whether the Hindi belt is being governed by a vicious criminal–politician nexus.

Rajdeep Sardesai According to India Today Group consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai, “Politics has become criminalised across the country. It’s just that perhaps the protection that a journalist may have in certain parts of the country is a little greater because of stronger law enforcement machinery, and certain parts may have weaker law enforcement machinery.”

Earlier, several journalists would get death threats if they happened to be investigating cases involving the sand, coal or other such mafias.

However, it appears that these mafias have grown stronger due to poor or no law enforcement. Moreover, the political environment in regions like Uttar Pradesh is already criminalised and polarised, further leading to the rise in the number of such activities.

Read more at: http://www.televisionpost.com/news/why-is-india-the-fourth-most-dangerous-country-for-journalists/ | TelevisionPost.com

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