After Bolta Hindustan, Centre tells YouTube to remove National Dastak channel

The move by the government, right before elections, is making many people, including the opposition, decry it as press censorship.

Just a few days after the removal of Bolta Hindustan’s channel from YouTube on April 4, the  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a directive for the removal of National Dastak’s YouTube channel as well.

The National Dastak took to X, formerly Twitter, and spoke on the decision. The notice by Google, which was sent to the media platform on Monday, April 8, stated that it could not specify why the channel was being banned as the government had declared that reason confidential. The media platform posted in response:

“नेशनल दस्तक को बंद करवाना चाहती है सरकार।। 3 अप्रैल को यूट्यूब ने नोटिस भेजा था।। आर्टिकल 19 को भी नोटिस है। ।।आचार संहिता में ये सब हो रहा है।। लाखों अखबार टीवी न्यूज चैनल चल रहे। बहुजनों के नेशनल दस्तक से इतना डर।”

(The government wants to shut down National Dastak. YouTube sent a notice on April 3, a notice was also sent to Article 19 . All this is happening under the Model Code of Conduct. Lakhs of newspapers and TV news channels are running. Why are they so afraid of Bahujan people’s National Dastak?)

The ban has been notified in adherence to the with Rule 15 (2) of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 with Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000. with Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

National Dastak describes itself as ‘online media’ and a voice of the oppressed, including Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, backwards, women, and farmers. The YouTube channel had over 9 million subscribers. This has raised questions about why the government, without providing an explanation, is targeting and censoring independent media which are run by and report issues of the marginalised.

Bolta Hindustan’s founder, Haseen Rahmani, had spoken to SabrangIndia earlier and stated how the “messenger is being punished’. The media platform’s channel was similarly banned without providing any reason due to confidentiality of the notice by the government. He further elaborated, saying the media platform will take the legal route if necessary, “Those who give hate speech are free, but if you do a story on these givers of hate speech, then you are punished.”



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