Draconian law in Karnataka against entry to Journalists to Vidhana Soudha !
BJP Government in Karnataka went a step ahead of Emergency. It is trying to block Journalists from entering Vidhana Soudha at one end and cancelled the Bus Pass privilege which was provided 3 dacde back by then Chief Minister Devaraja Urs at the other end.
Here is the letter issued by Prof. B. Harischandra Bhat, President Journalists Association of Karnataka regarding the draconian law in Karnataka against entry to Journalist to Vidhana Soudha. We will publish the regarding Bus Pass shortly and how transport minister sidelined the successive Chief Minister including present Chief Minister in this issue.
Now Please go through regarding draconian law against entry to Journalists to the center of power in Karnataka.:
Nethrakere Udaya Shankara
I was shocked to know yesterday (13th October 2011 Tuesday) about a secret pact between the chosen few journalists' organizations , the Directorate of Information and Publicity, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, banning entry to 'Journalists other than State Accredited' ones to Vidhana Soudha, the seat of power.
This meeting was called at the instance of the DIPO on 10 January 2011 and was attended by Karnataka Union of Working Journalists, Journalists' Cooperative Society, Press Club of Bengaluru, Small and Medium Newspapers' Association and others, who in their own wisdom resolved to prevent Journalists who are woring for the news papers and periodicals registered under Registrar of Newspapers in India (RNI). With this decision, all the 'yellow passes issued to journalists were withdrawn wef: 25-2- 2011.
It is an irony of fate that the BJP Government ( which was the champion of freedom of the press during the Emergency declared by Smt Indira Gandhi in 1975) which has imposed the instant Censorship !. On the contrary, the Congress Party (UPA) Government at the Center which has realised its responsibility to the people of the Country,
has to its credit a pro people Right To Information Act (RTI) throwing open the hither to secret domain of the governance and the Media has been one of the major beneficiaries..
Vidhana Soudha as the seat of power, has to be of free access to the media who in turn are answerable to the readers. denying access to Vidhana Soudha, Vikas Soudha amd Government Secretariates smacks of a state of Emergency in the BJP ruled State, though the provision of declaring Emergency has been annulled through the 42nd Ammendment to the Constitution was enacted by the Janatha Government 0n 23rd June 1977, a historical moment of which the leaders like A.B.Vajapeyi and Information and Broadcasting Minister L.K.Advani were the active witnesses !
The Media can not take it lying down. We have to nip the bud of the dictatorship that is surfacing in the State clandestinely. I request, as the President of Journalists' Association of Karnataka, the State Unit of the National Union of Journalists(India),a nationalist trade union which is affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists, earnestly request the Bharathiya Janata Party functionaries to advice the erring administrators to mend their ways and facilitate a hassle free access to the journalists to the corridor of power so that they can discharge their duties to the people (reading and viewing public).
We have no axe to grind. Our only wish is to contribute the Freedom of Press envisaged by the Magna Charta - the Indian Constitution.
Prof.B.Harishchandra Bhat ,
Journalists' Association of Karnataka,
Regd. Trade Union ( U/TU No. DRT (B-1) TUA/ SR -02/ 2011 )