Intolerance towards press growing

Days after noted journalist and one of the bitter critics of right wing fundamentalist Gauri Lankesh was gunned down in Bengaluru, yet another journalist was brutually murdered on Wednesday at Tripura. Shantanu Bhowmick was hacked to death when clashes broke out between CPI (M)’s Tribal wing Tripura Upajati Gan Mukti Parishad workers and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura. He was covering the agitation organized by the IPFT when he was hit from behind. Four IPFT men have been arrested for the murder.CPI (M) has blamed BJP-backed miscreants for the incident while BJP blamed CPI (M) workers for the murder. The killing of journalist on duty raises serious question mark over their safety and security.
Increasingly journalists are getting caught up in the political and ideological battle. Often they are forced to take side while the ethics of journalism teaches them to maintain neutrality. Frequent killing of journalists sends out a wrong message. If the messenger is shoot down then who will pass on the message. The left government in Tripura and Congress government in Karnataka should ensure that those who killed Shantanu Bhowmick and Gauri Lankesh are strongly punished in order to send out a strong message. This growing intolerance towards journalist community is frightening and do not abode well for the Indian democracy. Everyone including political parties, NGOs, police, civil societies and government authorities should play their part to create a healthy atmosphere so that press can function independently. Without free press the democracy will make no sense.