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Modi's interview on DD: Experts feel editing is not censorship if done without any ill-feeling
In election season, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is giving interview to every major channel. In the process the national broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) also got the opportunity of interviewing Modi like other private news channels.
Once the interview was aired, NaMo claimed that some specific portions of the interview where he had mentioned Priyanka Gandhi as his daughter and Sonia Gandhi's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel as his friend, were edited. To prove what Modi claimed, his office released the edited portions of the interview.

BJP alleged that the interview portions were edited under the pressure of ministry of information and broadcasting.

This incident has raised questions on the autonomy of Doordarshan, which among several responsibilities has one major responsibility of maintaining balance between the government and the opposition.

Has the editing of Modi's interview been carried out to appease the ruling the party?

Dr. Deepak Kumar, Professor at Centre for Media Studies (JNU) said that it was not confirm or cannot be confirmed that it was done to appease the ruling party. Dr. Kumar further said that editing was right of a broadcaster and it should not be seen as censorship.

“Sometimes we should trust public servant also. The public servant of this broadcasting corporation argues that the interview had to be slotted in 30 minutes. So, they have the editorial rights. It is not censorship and if it is censorship it would have been opposed by me but editing is not censorship. We should trust the public servant. There are many honest public servants. How can I say that such act is just to appease the ruling party. I don't agree with this. And if the whole country is singing for Modi I have no problem. It is electoral process and democracy always wins.

Has Modi done anything wrong by mentioning Priyanka Gandhi as his daughter and Ahmed Patel an old friend?

Dr. Pradeep K Datta, a Political Science Professor from Delhi University said, “Doordarshan doesn't have an enviable reputation. Anyway whatever Modi actually said or did not say is not the problem. The problem is that politicians think their personal relations are of interest to voters. As a voter I am interested in issue not in personal relations of leaders.

Doordarshan's failure to air the entire piece of interview has fueled the perception that the national broadcaster's new division is still not free from the clutches of the government.

Dr. Prem Singh, National General Secretary, Socialist party, India said that editing was a part of journalism.

“Editing part always exist in each show either its interview, talk show or any other. And even if it is interview of the prime minister the same editing thing would be done. But if editing part has done intentionally to censor vital points then I completely condemn it. I think Doordarshan should work as an autonomous body,” said Dr. Singh.

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