टीओआई पर एएमयू द्वारा प्रतिबंध लगाने की संपादकों ने की निंदा

NEW DELHI: Senior editors and two respected organizations of the print industry — the Editors Guild of India and Indian Newspaper Society — have slammed the Aligarh Muslim University’s move to ban TOI on campus, describing it as “intolerant and undemocratic”. They have also called for an immediate review of the ban.

In a statement, Editors Guild president N Ravi described the action of AMU vice-chancellor Zameeruddin Shah in banning TOI from the university departments and offices as a “shocking instance of intolerance and abuse of power”. This move followed reports in the newspaper on the Maulana Azad Library being out of bounds for undergraduate women students and the V-C’s controversial remarks that allowing them in would create a space problem in the library. “An institution of learning should be liberal and open-minded, allowing students and faculty access to a wide range of information sources, and not resort to bans on publications based on an individual’s whims. The vice-chancellor through this narrow-minded shooting of the messenger has lowered his own dignity and reputation, as well as the reputation of the historic institution that he heads. The ‘ban’ must be lifted forthwith,” N Ravi urged.

Indian Newspaper Society president Ravindra Kumar said that “proscribing a newspaper was sillier than an ostrich sticking his head in sand because even an ostrich may have reason to. A newspaper will not cease to exist if it is banned.”

The Week’s resident editor Sachinanda Murthy described the move as “undemocratic and intolerant.” He added,” The university can do several things like issue a contradiction. The days of physically stopping the entry of the paper are over and only serve to compound the matter further.”

India Today editorial advisor Shekhar Gupta said, “This is one of the sillier things I’ve heard in a long time. How do you ban a newspaper in a campus and that too in the age of digitization? It raises issues of common sense besides free speech and open disclosure.”

TV Today consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai, too, echoed a similar sentiment and called the AMU response a “classic, crazy over-reaction.” He said, “What purpose are you serving by banning the paper? There are other ways in which the V-C can show his disagreement with the paper. For instance, it is his prerogative not to talk to TOI, but banning (it) simply does not make sense in this day and age. You ban a book, I can read it on Kindle. You ban a newspaper, I’ll access it on the internet.”

N Ravi also pointed out “the same mindset of intolerance had manifested itself in criminal acts of issuing threats and abusive messages and posts to the Times’ Aligarh correspondent who has been covering the issue. Together, both these sets of actions pose a serious threat to freedom of expression, in particular to the free and vigorous discussion of the issues of gender equality and rights of students in a public institution.”

साभार- टाइम्स आफ इंडिया

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