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Boycott ministers after raid on NDTV, says Arun Shourie

Following the CBI searches at the houses of NDTV network's founder Prannoy Roy

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Arun Shourie
Veteran journalist and former union minister Arun Shourie addresses a protest meeting at Press Club of India in New Delhi against the CBI raids on news channel NDTV in an alleged financial fraud case.

Former union minister on Friday urged journalists to in the battle for media freedom following the CBI searches at the houses of network's founder Prannoy Roy.

Calling the CBI raids an attempt by the government to exert "overt pressure" on the media, the noted journalist said non-cooperation and boycott of ministers were essential ways to fight for freedom of the press.

Speaking at an event at the Press Club of India here, Shourie said the government was intent on gradually extending its domination on all forums of public life.

He asked journalists not to sit on judgment on each other and resist attempts to divide them.

"They will seek to divide the press," said the former who was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Shourie said it was wrong to assume one could buy peace with the government by publishing articles of ministers or running their interviews on TV.

He recalled that when the Rajiv Gandhi government brought the defamation bill, journalists decided to ask every minister at press conferences whether they supported the legislation. If the answer was 'yes' or supportive of the bill, the reporters would walk out.

He said boycotting the ministers and not cooperating with them were ways to fight for freedom of press. "Do not call them to your functions."

Shourie also urged journalists to redouble work that annoys the government. "News is what the government wants to hide. You should excavate that."

The CBI this week searched the houses of Prannoy Roy for allegedly causing financial losses to a private bank.

Amid protests by journalists, said the CBI had "stepped up the concerted harassment of and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations" and that the was "a blatant political attack on the freedom of the press".

First Published: Fri, June 09 2017. 19:30 IST