The government circular says “In public interest, Government will not buy newspapers published or purported to be published by any political party either national or regional as a measure to develop free thinking among the readers.”Libraries in Kolkata have already begun displaying the notice saying- following a government order dated 14 March 2012; only eight newspapers will henceforth be available.
In the list of newspapers now banned are the names of two leading Bengali dailies, the Ananda Bazar Patrika and Bartaman; both not owned by political parties.The only banned newspaper that is published by a political party is Ganashakti, which is a CPM mouthpiece.
Ironically, of the 8 newspapers available to readers, Sangbad Pratidin is a Bengali paper owned by TMC Rajya Sabha (RS) MP Srinjoy Bose. The Associate Editor is Kunal Ghosh who has just been elected to RS on TMC ticket.Also on that list is Sanmarg, a Hindi newspaper whose director is Vivek Gupta and Akbar-e-Masriq whose senior journalist is Nadimul Haq. Both Mr Gupta and Mr Haq have just been elected to RS on TMC ticket.
Users of public libraries are already surprised and shocked at this decision of the state government and suspect newspapers critical of the government have been banned. The issue was brought up in the state Assembly by a Congress MLA who called the government circular undemocratic and urged the chief minister to have it withdrawn. Mamata Banerjee was not present in the Assembly at that time.The West Bengal government has said it will not reverse the order.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appreciated the move, on her directive by Library Services Minister Abdul Karim Chowdhury. It is to be noted that sometime back she had publicly announced that Star TV is the enemy of the State and people should not view the Channel.
This is worse than censorship; this has shades of fascism.
- Will remain with UPA unless humiliated: Mamata (thehindu.com)