Today’s Economic Times carries a report “Center Weighs Single Nodal Policy”. According to the report, the Government is contemplating a new “Nodal Policy” for Social Media to tackle the aggression of the rogue Tech Companies who have no respect for Indian sovereignty.
In the process however, the Government has once again shown that it does not want to confront the media and is ready to compromise on the Intermediary Guidelines of February 25th, in which an attempt was made to bring self regulation on social media to curb fake news.
It is disappointing that time and again the Government shows its indecisiveness and takes one step forward and two steps backward when it comes to taking tough decisions whether it is the farm laws or the amendments to ITA 2000 or the Personal Data Protection Act.
The opposition may appear weak whenever elections are held in India but their hold on media is so strong that any new law will be opposed both in the media and in the Courts. It is for this reason that media can get away with advertisements to recruit journalists with the sole purpose of opposing the Government and Courts which spend end less hours to defend anti nationals and bail applications in serious narcotics cases while genuine cases languish in pendency.
The move on “Single Nodal Agency” reminds us of the “Convergence Bill” which was hotly debated in the years 2000-2001 before being dropped like a hot potato for reasons of political expediency.
It may be interesting to look at some of these old forgotten issues in the articles available in the links below.
Knowing the attitude of the press, the opposition and the Courts, the attempt to bring a “Single Nodal Policy” will only mean that the “Self Regulation” envisaged under the Intermediary Guidelines of February 25th may take a back seat.
Let is wait and see if the new Ministry is able to cut the hesitancy and make bold moves required to take India forward.