Press freedom rankings: India slips 3 places to 136, 'Modi's nationalism' blamed -Dhrubo Jyoti

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published Published on Apr 28, 2017   modified Modified on Apr 28, 2017
-Hindustan Times

In the index released on Wednesday, India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine.

India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries, the dismal performance blamed on “Modi’s nationalism” and growing “self-censorship” in the mainstream media.

In the index released on Wednesday, India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine. India’s neighbours Bhutan and Nepal were placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively.

“With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media,” the report from media watchdog Reporters without Borders said. India was ranked 133 last year.

The report mentioned that journalists were increasingly targets of online smear campaigns and threats.

“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.”

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Hindustan Times, 27 April, 2017, http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/world-press-freedom-rankings-india-slips-3-places-to-136-modi-s-nationalism-blamed/story-ea1yBJzuPAkA7SZ9hqkC9N.html


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