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Copyright (c) 1997 Yeshiva University 
Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law

PART I BACKGROUND; CHAPTER 1; HISTORY OF INDIAN BROADCASTING REFORM

Fall, 1997

5 Cardozo J. Int'l & Comp. L. 341

Author

Sevanti Ninan *

Excerpt



Through fifty years of existence as an independent nation, the concerns that have emerged with regard to broadcasting in India are contradictory ones. There is anxiety that state regulation of the broadcasting media may impinge upon the citizen's freedom of speech and that the Indian State may misuse broadcasting. At the same time, there is the fear that broadcasting freedom will get out of hand and destroy the country's culture and polity. The Govern ment is anxious that it should be able to retain control in times of emergency.

If two single pieces of law can be identified that have exercised these contradictory pulls and from which most of the court cases and judgments pertaining to broadcasting have originated, it is arti cle l9 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech, even as it imposes reasonable restrictions upon such free dom, and the Indian Telegraph Act of l885 which concentrated in government all powers with regard to wireless broadcasting.

A host of subsidiary concerns have also manifested them selves, expressed through various committee reports and political pronouncements of the country's leaders. These are that broad casting should play a role in unifying, informing, and developing the country, give voice to regional aspirations, firmly resist commu nal forces and culturally alien influences, as well as preserve the sovereignty of India.

Overall, therefore, the impetuses that governed broadcasting philosophy and practices over five decades are rooted in funda mental democratic principles expressed in article l9, in the ...
 
 
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