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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Siddaramaiah Govt. Clamps Down on Free Speech, Arrests Founder of Nationalist Portal Postcard.News

In what appears to be a desperate move to curb nationalist digital news media outlets that have refused to toe the Congress line, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah today morning ordered the arrest of Mahesh Vikram Hegde, founder of nationalist news portal Postcard.news, Mysore MP Pratap Simha has shared on twitter –

It is still not clear what the exact charge is against Mahesh Hegde – the draconian section 66 of Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 was struck down by Supreme Court in March 2015.

Incidentally, Pratap Simha, who was himself a well-know journalist before entering politics, has also received death threats in the recent past.

Postcard.news and other nationalist digital outlets have been continuously raising issues related to mis-governance, break-down of law & order and corruption in Karnataka under the present Congress regime – and this seems to have rubbed the Congress leadership the wrong way, as digital & social media refuse to be ‘managed’ like they have managed to do with MSM.

Most grating for Siddaramaiah must be the fearless way in which nationalist portals have raised the murder of several Hindu activists from RSS, BJP and other organizations under his rule, with the most brazen of these being the daylight hacking of Rudresh R in central Bengaluru.

Besides this, there have been suicides / mysterious deaths of senior IPS and other officials – one of whom, DSP MS Ganapathi even left a suicide note blaming then Home Minister KJ George (considered close to Sonia) for his death.

To make matters worse, in 2015, Congress let off more than 1600 activists of radical Islamist organizations like PFI which was had had a role in several jihadi terror plots, and is now under investigation by NIA for IS terror links & organized forced conversion racket. Recently, Abid Pasha, a PFI worker accused of killing 8, including BJP worker K Raju, was released on bail and received a rousing welcome.

This is the reality of Karnataka today apart from the sordid saga of high-level corruption which is a staple of Congress Governments everywhere – with even senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily tweeting “INC needs to solve money in politics” & alleging a corrupt nexus working to decide ticket allocation for upcoming elections – of course, that tweet was later deleted.

But if one were to follow just the national newspapers or even the regional Kannada media, most of this would come as a shock to the casual observer as such news is either censored or sidelined by traditional media which prefers the Congress model of ‘you scratch my back, I will scratch yours’. This is where the emergence of new digital media outlets which refuse to play by the Congress rule-book, has so infuriated the Congress top brass.

Congress should remember that it is no longer 1975 when they could declare Emergency and the nation’s media crawled, when asked to bend. Neither is it 2012, when the Congress first used Section 66 of IT Act to block several twitter handles & blogs – including those of journalists Kanchan Gupta and Shiv Aroor – under the cover of Assam unrest.

The Congress might still control the old establishment which is deeply entrenched in administrative, judicial and intellectual circles, but the common citizen will not allow it to stifle voices like that of Mahesh Vikram Hegde anymore – the backlash to such moves will be severe.


Please refer to this article for further updates on this case


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