C Times, 16 August 2017, Agartala
The Left Front government in Tripura and Prasar Bharti clashed on Tuesday after Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast the customary Independence Day address of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, advising him to “reshape” the speech after it was recorded by the Chief Minister.
The government statement alleged that Doordarshan and AIR had recorded Manik Sarkar’s speech on August 12, at 7 pm Monday, the Chief Minister’s Office was informed via a letter that his speech would not be broadcast unless he “reshaped it”.
“The Chief Minister clearly stated that he would not change a single word and described it as unprecedented, undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant step”, quoted a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.
There was no immediate reaction from Prasar Bharati which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.
The letter purportedly said, “The message of the Chief Minister was closely examined by the competent authority. In view of the sanctity of the occasion, the broadcast code and responsibility of the public broadcaster it’s not possible to telecast it in the present format.”
“However, Prasar Bharati which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio will be happy if the Chief Minister agrees to reshape the content making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiment of the people,” the letter said.
“CM Manik Sarkar once again is proven that Indian Communists are not only anti-national but China’s paid boot licking dogs. Even in 2016, FICCI summit, Manik Sarkar insulted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian National pride in front of Bangladesh Ministers and Foreign guests,” said BJP Pradesh Vic-president Subal Bhowmik.
The CPI-M politburo, in a statement, said: “It strongly condemns the refusal by Doordarshan and All India Radio to broadcast the customary Independence Day address of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar”.
In this statement, politburo also said, “Doordarshan and All India Radio had recorded his speech for the occasion. However, they subsequently informed him that the speech cannot be carried as it is and asked him to ‘reshape’ it.”
On Wednesday, ICA Minister Bhanulal Saha said in a press conference, that “It is a kind of emergency situation emerged in the country after Doordarshan and All India Radio rejects Chief Minister’s speech. They asked to cut the speech of CM, but CM clearly said it is not possible. CM’s speech was normal.”