Do ordinary people really care about press freedom? Or is this just an elitist concern, although the elite in this country would not exert themselves to defend this particular freedom?
According to the latest World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, one journalist has been killed and 13 are in prison in India since January 2022. Many more work under the stress of death threats, surveillance and fighting innumerable court cases filed against them. In any country that claims to be a democracy, this does not indicate that there is complete press freedom. In fact, quite to the contrary.
This is precisely what the RSF ranking has shown – a steady decline in India’s ranking out of 180 countries surveyed. From 133 in 2016 to 142 in 2021 and 150 now, India’s fall has been quite precipitous.
The government, of course, will not accept this. Predictably, it sees all such reports as a conspiracy to defame India and sully its reputation as a shining example of democratic and press freedoms.