ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Taming the Press

Taming the Press The prime minister and his advisers have for quite some time believed that adverse press coverage, in particular the reports of corruption in high places, has been in no small measure responsible for the Congress(I)'s decline in popular esteem and its indifferent performance in by-elections in different parts of the country. They have, accordingly, made no secret of their feelings towards the press, or some section of it. The ruling group's worries about the damage that the press could do have evidently mounted, on the one hand, as the press has been able to come up with increasingly convincing evidence relating to, for instance, the Bofors or the West German submarine or, most recently, the Sumitomo- ONGC deals of the government and, on the other hand, as assessments within the Congress(I) of the party's prospects in the next elections have tended to become more pessimistic. Evidently a point was finally reached when some people in the.prime minister's charmed circle decided that enough was enough. The result is the Defamation Bill, 1988 which was sprung on the Lok Sabha on Monday and rushed through the house in a single day.

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