The last time Times of India was in news, actress Deepika Padukone questioned the credibility of the newspaper and then followed the unforgettable war between Hindustan Times and TOI over leadership position.
This time it’s against one of the leading institutions of India, Aligarh Muslim University. According to unconfirmed reports, AMU’s Vice Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah has banned the English daily in their campus.
Two leading media organizations have reacted to this move. Editors Guild of India and Indian Newspaper Society called this decision ‘intolerant and undemocratic’
According to media reports, in a statement, Editors Guild president N Ravi described the action of AMU vice-chancellor Zameeruddin Shah of banning TOI from the university departments and offices as a "shocking instance of intolerance and abuse of power". This move followed reports in the newspaper on the Maulana Azad Library being out of bounds for undergraduate women students and the V-C's controversial remarks that allowing them in would create a space problem in the library. "An institution of learning should be liberal and open-minded, allowing students and faculty access to a wide range of information sources, and not resort to bans on publications based on an individual's whims. The vice-chancellor through this narrow-minded shooting of the messenger has lowered his own dignity and reputation, as well as the reputation of the historic institution that he heads. The 'ban' must be lifted forthwith," N Ravi urged.
Indian Newspaper Society president Ravindra Kumar said that "proscribing a newspaper was sillier than an ostrich sticking his head in sand because even an ostrich may have reason to. A newspaper will not cease to exist if it is banned."
The matter took another turn when the Chairman of Press Council of India, Justice (retd) Markandey Katju spoke to the Vice Chancellor, according to PTI.
“I just spoke on the mobile with the Vice Chancellor,” He is quoted in the report, and added “He (the VC) said he has not issued any such order.’