#AJOPINION – Indian media and the citizenship law protests

Siddharth Varadarajan says a ‘major section of the Indian media has crossed over to the dark side’.

In this new episode of #AJOPINION, Siddharth Varadarajan, a founding editor of The Wire news site, discusses the recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that have gripped India and what it is like to be a journalist in the country.

The CAA was passed by the Indian Parliament last December. It allows authorities to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who arrived in India before 2015.

Critics say it violates India’s secular constitution and have challenged it in the Supreme Court.

Varadarajan says the continuing protests against the CAA have shone a light on the role of the media and its coverage of the issue.

“What has happened over the past few years is that a major section of the media has crossed over to the dark side,” Varadarajan argues. “Without being formally censored, they have stopped doing their job. They have stopped asking difficult questions about the government and its policies, they are in awe of the prime minister and his senior ministers and are reluctant to be critical of them. Many have sadly become mouthpieces of official propaganda.”

The views expressed in this video are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.