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NDTV India ban: Modi government's decision faces widespread criticism

The Modi government's decision to take NDTV India "off air" for a day has sparked huge outrage with widespread criticism of the government coming both from opposition parties as well as common man.

social media is abuzz with people calling the decision erroneous while the government's defense on Saturday was not very unconvincing.

There is widespread consensus among the journalist community that the government's decision to ban NDTV India is indefensible. It, for one, sets a very wrong example.

Trying to defend it by saying earlier governments did it too will not work because two wrongs do not make a right. The government, in trying to make an issue of public security caused a raging controversy on press freedom.

In its defense on Saturday, the I&B Minister raised two questions on Twitter: "Isn't showing anti-terror ops in broad day light a more serious threat to our country" and "whether security of the nation or TRPs are more important?"

While the question may be fair, here's what's unfair - why did the government have to single out NDTV India when others may have similarly "violated some norm" or "shown lack or restraint"?

Was NDTV India's coverage so irresponsible and so different from others that the government had to take this drastic step? Did NDTV India really disclose and reveal sensitive details that caused or could have caused harm to the public? If so, then why not say what were these? Shouldn't the government spell out this information clearly to the public?

The government's move, for lack of answers to above questions, reeks of a political motive as Modi himself and his government have never been a fan of NDTV and it all began with coverage of 2002 riots in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state and decided to ban the channel.

The channel has continued to question the actions of the government whenever there are doubts and the most recent case being the Bhopal SIMI encounter. By imposing a one-day ban, all the government seems to have done is make the channel more popular.