Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Policy Supports, Doesn't Control

THE government published a gazette recently on the National Broadcast Policy-2014 despite widespread criticism. The criticism started after the cabinet's approval of the Policy. And the response is not limited only to the stakeholders -- experts on talk shows and general public in the social media are talking about the repressive intentions hidden in the clauses of the policy. It has become a popular issue, and there has been severe criticism similar to the responses to Information and Communication Technology (Amendment) Act, 2013 and Online Media policy (Draft), 2012.  
Those policies and acts were initiated and formulated by the same government in its two consecutive regimes. In all cases, there are similarities in taking policy measures or enacting laws. The government shares the draft online and invites stakeholders and general public to add their views. The final outcome is considered to be repressive and against freedom of expression by the stakeholders and the public. There was only the opportunity for the public to see the draft but there was no mechanism to send feedback there.