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Netas and Babus caught in a Time(s) warp

01-March-2002
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Netas and Babus caught in a Time(s) warp

On Tuesday, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology voted against the entry of foreign direct investment in Indian print media. This holds the 1955 Cabinet Resolution, forbidding foreign investments, relevant for today's age. Sadly, the otherwise champion of plurality, competition and global economy- the monopolies within the Indian press, has shirked from this moment of truth.

1955 Cabinet Resolution, based on recommendations by First Press Commission, had banned foreign investments in Indian print media. "No foreign owned newspaper or periodical should, in future, be permitted to be published in India. Foreign newspapers and periodicals which deal mainly with news and current affairs should not be allowed to bring out Indian editions," reads the Resolution. The primary concern driving this resolution was to protect the 'national interest'.

Much has changed since. Media has undergone a metamorphosis with Television and Internet becoming the primary 'news' media, relegating Print from almost only to increasingly just another source. Images, more than words, have shaped the public opinion (Remember Tehelka?). Also, the definition of what is in 'National Interest' has also undergone a change with FDI investments being accepted even in Defense sector!

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