India News

Press Club Unhappy with Media Being Kept Out of Parliament, Calls It “Blatant Censorship”

Terming it “blatant censorship,” the Press Club of India took to Twitter to express disappointment over the media not being allowed to enter the Parliament to cover the Winter Session 2021.


Monday, the first day of the Winter Session 2021, marked the fifth session when “reporters have been deliberately kept out of the Press Gallery,” said the press club. “Assurances given to us were not complied with. Adding to that, is a new format of restrictions to thwart the entry of the media.”

The press club also shared an open letter dated November 27 and addressed to the leaders of all political parties in the Parliament. In it, the journalists’ organisation mentions that all the important media organisations in the country had earlier been covering both Houses of Parliament for many decades, but have been denied access to the Press Gallery and interaction with the parliamentarians over the past one and a half years.

Earlier, entry to the Press Gallery was denied citing Covid protocols, but now that malls, restaurants and cinema halls have reopened, such restrictions are no more required, the letter states, adding, “On the face of it, current restrictions under pandemic guidelines seem to be rigmarole.”

During the press conference held in the second week of July 2021, the Lok Sabha Speaker had assured that there would be no restrictions on media’s entry and that all permanent passes would be renewed, which was not complied with, the letter notes.

It also expresses concern that “there is a depressing trend emerging to isolate parliament and parliamentarians from media gaze” and adds that this trend “augurs ill for parliamentary democracy and [is] much against the spirit of our parliamentary democracy.” 

“Eventually, we make humble appeal to your goodself to take note of such a serious issue that is hurting media persons. We fervently hope that you would get the needful done in this regard,” the letter concludes.

Appealing for the same, MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha, also wrote a letter in which he noted that it is “very sad and strange that the media is being restricted by the present regime” from covering the proceedings of the Parliament.


In a further tweet, the press club added, “We hope that this blatant censorship does not continue longer.” 

On the first day of the Winter Session of the Parliament 2021, the Bill to repeal the three Farm Laws – which were passed during the Monsoon Session 2020 and sparked the year-long farmers’ protest – was passed in the Lok Sabha. The Bill was passed by voice vote amidst protest by opposition MPs who objected to the lack of discussion before the vote.

The media was neither present when the Farm Bill was passed in the Monsoon Session 2020, nor when the Bill to repeal it was passed on Monday.