The Press: Indira's Iron Veil

It was a stunning scene. Every time an opposition member stood up in the Indian Parliament to argue against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's June 26 state of emergency, almost the entire press corps, including nearly 300 Indian journalists and some of the 75 foreign correspondents, simply stopped writing and put away their notebooks. The reporters were obeying a savage gag rule imposed on them last week by the government in a drastic effort to tighten India's month-old press control in time for the special parliamentary session. In effect, the rule forced newsmen to censor themselves.

By pledging to submit to the rule,...

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