A large cohort of senior Indian journalists are currently facing sedition charges for their ‘provocative’ reporting on the farmers protest. Complaints filed by residents of various states in India allege that journalists were responsible for instigating violence during the Republic Day protests by spreading disinformation and fake news.
Cases have been filed against prominent journalists including Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today, and Vinod Jose of Caravan magazine among a plethora of others.
Thousands of Indian farmers began pouring into the capital on Republic Day, in an attempt to revert Prime Minister Modi’s new farm laws. January 26, 2021 marked over 60 days of the ongoing protests, as farmers mobilized their tractors to revolt against the government’s deregulations plans. Several Indians have been raging against the protesting farmers after the Red Fort incident, which saw the previously peaceful farmers’ protest storm the Red Fort and hoist the Khalsa flag called the Nishan Sahib (Sikh religious symbol) in Delhi. Numerous media outlets have portrayed the protests as violent, showcasing this violence only from the farmers end while overlooking any other actors involved, terming the protest as ‘riots’ the farmers as a ‘mob’.
New Delhi showed sights of chaos and violence when thousands of farmers were tear-gassed and baton-charged as they broke down police barricades amid India’s Republic Day celebrations. Farmer unions have held eleven rounds of talks with the central government so far, but all have been futile. Modi’s administration had previously offered to temporarily suspend the new laws but the farmers state they will settle for nothing short of complete revocation.