The Washington PostThe Washington Post

India's government wants to decide what is true. That's dangerous.

By Rana Ayyub

27 Jan 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The streaming of the BBC’s documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ was banned and dismissed by India's prime minister as propaganda. An essayist for The Washington Post examines the implications.

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology filed a draft amendment last week to a recent media law that could have sweeping consequences for free expression in the world's largest democracy. According to the proposed language, any information marked as "fake" by the fact-checking division of India's Press Information Bureau will need to be taken down by "online intermediaries," a category that would include social media companies.

This latest move potentially casts a pall over journalism in the country. Two industry associations - the Editors Guild of India and Digipub, a group of news sites in India - have published strong statements arguing that the amendment could give arbitrary and discretionary power to the Indian government.

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