[Marxism] India Bans Arab TV Channels Under Pressure From Israel

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sat Aug 5 20:17:03 MDT 2006

Statements of protest against this can be sent to the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, via the following



>India Bans Arab TV Channels Under Pressure From Israel
>Shahid Raza Burney, Arab News

>   http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=75907&d=6&m=8&y=2006

>BOMBAY, 6 August 2006 - In a country widely referred to as the world's
>largest democracy, the Indian government has succumbed to mounting Israeli
>pressure and ordered a nationwide ban on the broadcast of Arab television
>The Indian government's ban on Arab television stations is in complete
>contrast to the friendship that Arab countries imagine exists with their
>neighbor across the Arabian Sea. It seems the ban is a move to ensure that
>Indians do not get to see the atrocities that are presently being committed
>by Israel in Lebanon and the occupied territories.
>Nabila Al-Bassam, a Saudi businesswoman on a trip to Bombay, told Arab News
>how she became exasperated at not being able to watch Arab channels at
>Bombay's leading five-star Oberoi Hotel. When she took up the issue with
>hotel manager, she was told that Arab television channels had been banned
>across India.
>A perplexed Al-Bassam then sent an SMS to Arab News Editor in Chief Khaled
>Almaeena to verify whether this was indeed the case. "Oberoi Hotel tells me
>that the government of India has banned all Arab TV channels. Why? I hate
>watching CNN and BBC," she wrote to Almaeena.
>Talking to Arab News, Oberoi Hotel Manager Mohit Nirula did allude to the
>fact that a ban was in place. "The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
>has laid down certain rules. It is our duty to abide by and follow the
>of the country," he told this correspondent.
>Minister of Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi was busy in
>Parliament and was unavailable for comment on the issue. However, a
>official explained why the Indian government decided to enforce the ban.
>official highlighted that India enjoys close and cordial relations with
>Israel and the US more than any of the Arab governments.
>According to another source within the government, the ban is a clear sign
>to all governments in the Middle East that the Israeli, American and
>governments carry far more influence in India than any of the Arab
>Several senior Indian journalists explained that the ban was an indication
>that India had succumbed to Israeli pressure rather than American.
>"The whole exercise is to browbeat Arabs and show them as terrorists. The
>government is subscribing to the absurd argument that channels like
>Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya promote hatred and encourage terrorism," they
>Political analysts in India described the move as a game of double standard
>that India is playing. On the one hand India establishes friendship with
>Arab world while simultaneously it joins with Israel and the US in defaming
>them. It seems that the pro-Israeli lobby wishes to drive a wedge between
>India and its time-tested Arab allies. The Indian government's present
>stance is in stark contrast to the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi's staunch
>of the Palestinian cause.
>The banning of Arabic channels is a federal government decision, done under
>what senior Indian journalists claim to be intense pressure from the
>Israeli, American and British governments.
>The Indian government has been vocal in its condemnation of Israeli
>barbarity and has offered millions of rupees in aid to refugees in Lebanon.
>Arabs sympathetic to India have therefore met the news with surprise.
>Many Arabs draw inspiration from India's heroic struggle against British
>imperialism and the Indian independence struggle is seen by Palestinians as
>a brilliant example of throwing out the yoke of imperialism. It is sad that
>50 years after independence the world's largest democracy unfairly
>suppresses alternative opinion and allows itself to be dictated to by
>foreign powers.

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