Who are the censors: Free Speech Transgressors 2014

IN Media Freedom | 12/04/2014
Actors as diverse as the courts, student organizations, state governments, publishing houses, the LokSabha Secretariat, the Central Board of Film Certification, a lawyers' association, Hindu groups including the Shiv Sena, the RSS, and the Hindu J
moved to exercise various forms of censorship. A FREE SPEECH HUB LIST

Free Speech Transgressors: Who are the censors ?

First quarter of 2014


From the Free Speech Hub of The Hoot


The State and its agencies -14

1. Journalists beaten up by police outside Bengal secretariat

2. Havildar suspended for beating up journalist in Manipur

3. NSA summons editor to disclose source of photo on insurgency group

4. Gunshots fired in front of IFP scribe’s gate

5. Journalist harassed by police after exposing tribal women’s exploitation

6. Union Home minister Shinde threat to crush ‘social’ media, not electronic media!

7. CRPF use journalists as 'human shield' during Kashmir clashes

8. Under pressure, UP government lifts ban on Times Now

9. LokSabha passes Telangana Bill amid TV blackout

10. India asked us to block access to websites: Verizon disclosure

11. Ban on Punjabi movie Kaun De Heere; Film producers knock the doors of Revision Committee

12. CBFC refuses to certify film on Sri Lankan war

13. Centre issues new guidelines for phone interception

14. Terror threat: Restrictions imposed on cyber cafes 

Judicial action resulting in censorship - 3

1. Ban on media reporting of intern’s charges

2. Whistle blower website Savukku banned by Madras High Court

3. Sahara gets stay on book and sues Mint for defamation

Non-State actors - 18

  •  Hindu groups - 12

1. Dwarkashankaracharya slaps reporter over query on Modi

2. Magazine attacked by party workers for publishing Aseemanand interview

3. VIBGYOR film festival activists attacked

4. 1 booked for posting anti-BJP messages

5. Mumbai theatre Globus refuses to screen 'The Gujarat Promise' for fear of BJP backlash

6. RSS workers stop screening of 'Ocean of Tears' at film festival

7. Hindu group demands ban on Ragini MMS 2, deportation of Sunny Leone

8. Penguin to withdraw Wendy Doniger’s controversial book, The Hindus

9. Dalit musician banned at Guruvayoor temple

10. Shiv Sena Tries to Block Pakistani Band press meet

11. Kalaghoda axes play after Hindu groups call it 'anti-national'; producers move it to YouTube

12. Hindu groups protest: Police advise organisers not to stage play in Chennai

  •  Muslim groups -1

1. Protesters attack Odia daily offices

  • Dalit groups -1

1. Pudumaipithan’s 2 short stories removed from Madras University curriculum

  • Ethnic/Language groups -1

1. Santosh Sivan’s ‘Inam’ pulled from cinemas after Tamil groups protest

  • Student organisations -1

1. Manipur Students' Federation lifts ban on Times of India

  •  Insurgency groups -1

1. Newspapers resume after four-day news blackout in Arunachal

  • Lawyers’ Association -1

1. Bar Association suspends Kerala woman lawyer for FB comment on male lawyers' 'silly behaviour'

Corporate censors -1

1. Mouthshut site blocked

Censorship in academia -1

1. Mumbai univ suspends professor for addressing media, suspension revoked after student protests

Censorship in book publishing -7

1. Sahara gets stay on book and sues Mint for defamation

2. Bloomsbury withdraws 'The Descent of Air India', blames Praful Patel

3. Row over curb on book at fair

4. Penguin to withdraw Wendy Doniger’s controversial book, The Hindus

5. Shiv Nadar biography shelved before publication

6. Another book on Hinduism by Wendy Doniger under attack;

After Penguin, Aleph recalls Wendy Doniger's book

7. Sahara gets stay on book and sues Mint for defamation

Hate Speech - 2

1. Aamir Khan complains about hate campaign

2. Congress candidate Imran Masood who threatened to kill NarendraModi arrested

Sedition – 2

1. Sedition case against Kejriwal withdrawn

2. Sedition charges for students who cheered Pakistan; dropped after protest

Defamation – 4

1. Sahara gets stay on book and sues Mint for defamation

2. Swatanter Kumar files defamation case against media, intern

3. Google Takes Defamation Case to India's Supreme Court

4. Dhoni files defamation case against Zee, News Nation


For details on this listing, please check the Free Speech Tracker

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The new term for self censorship is voluntary censorship, as proposed by companies like Netflix and Hotstar. ET reports that streaming video service Amazon Prime is opposing a move by its peers to adopt a voluntary censorship code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules. Amazon is resisting because it fears that it may alienate paying subscribers.                   

Clearly, the run to the 2019 elections is on. A journalist received a call from someone saying they were from Aajtak channel and were conducting a survey, asking whom she was going to vote for in 2019. On being told that her vote was secret, the caller assumed she wasn't going to vote for 'Modiji'. The caller, a woman, also didn't identify herself. A month or two earlier the same journalist received a call, this time from a man, asking if she was going to vote for the BSP.                 

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