News Karnataka
Friday, January 27 2023
India

Home Ministry Babus censored!

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New Delhi: Censorship is on at the fountain of information – The Union home ministry today circulated a memo asking its officials not to meet journalists in their offices. The unofficial gag order that did the rounds of the North and South Blocks after the Modi Government took over, is now in writing.  Reports said that the memo was cleared by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary L.C. Goyal after media leaks of what they called ‘sensitive’ information.

Joint secretary M.A. Ganapathy — who is senior to the ADG and is the official ministry spokesperson — used to brief journalists twice every working day. He did so today, too — in the morning and at 4pm before the memo was issued. The memo said he would now brief reporters “on a need basis”.

“The government wants to keep journalists at arm’s length and provide only the information it wants to and when it wants to,” it was reported in the media.

“Additional director-general (media) will be the single point for dissemination of all publicity material to the media including clarifications sought by the media,” the memo said. “ADG media will hold media briefings twice a day in room No. 9 (on the ground floor).”

The memo added that the contents of the briefing would be provided by the department heads and that the ADG, K. Dhatwalia, would obtain Goyal’s approval before answering media queries if he felt necessary.

Up until now, journalists were able to meet the officials in their chambers after tapping their PAs. The source said the memo, though it doesn’t make this explicit, would end up restricting journalists’ movements in North Block.

 

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