ITANAGAR, Aug 2 - Members of the Arunachal media fraternity under the banner of the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) today joined the countrywide agitation launched by the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) against the NDA Government�s move to curtail press freedom by repealing two legislations that protect the unique character of journalism.
In two Labour Code Bills � one on working conditions and the other on wages � introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 23, the Government proposed to repeal the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1955 and the Working Journalist (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958, along with 11 other labour laws.
Holding placards and banners, the APUWJ members staged a silent protest at the Arunachal Press Club here today.
APUWJ president Amar Sangno said that the protest was organised to extend solidarity to the IJU which has been quite vocal about the NDA Government�s decision to repeal the labour laws and upon whose call Friday�s agitation was launched across the country.
He said that the protest was also aimed at sending a strong message to the Government that journalists would always fight along with other sections of the working class to protect their interests.
�The IJU has clearly stated that any attempts to undermine the functioning of the fourth estate will be fought tooth and nail as it would have an undesirable effect on the democratic polity and strike at its very root. The freedom of press is of paramount importance and moreover, the claim made by the Government that it has consulted all stakeholders in regard to the Bills is misleading,� Sangno said.
The APUWJ president, on behalf of the State�s media fraternity, appealed to the Central Government to reconsider its decision so as to maintain the freedom of press, which is vital in a democratic country like India.