On August 15, the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
CONDEMN CENSORSHIP OF TRIPURA CM
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the refusal by the Doordarshan and All India Radio to broadcast the customary Independence Day address of Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura.
The Doordarshan and All India Radio had recorded his speech for the occasion. However, they subsequently informed him that the speech cannot be carried as it is and asked him to “reshape” it.
This is a gross infringement on the right of a Chief Minister to address the people of his state on Independence Day. This act is reminiscent of the Emergency days and goes beyond as it seeks to gag the elected Chief Minister of a state. The Central Government is trampling upon the autonomy of Doordarshan/AIR and Prasar Bharati by such acts of censorship.
The Polit Bureau demands action against those responsible for prohibiting the broadcast. The Modi Government should stop treating the Prasar Bharati as a department of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.