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The Price of Printed Lies
Under the protection of freedom of speech and the right to publish, many lies, half-truths and outright propaganda pieces have been allowed to flourish. The home of press freedom is the United Kingdom. It has been rocked recently by scandals in the major newspapers in London. These newspapers, some owned by Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch, were bestsellers, with millions in sales per week.
The exclusive stories and pictures were sensational and well appreciated by the reading public. But it has emerged that editors and other newspaper functionaries were virtually spying on people and intercepting private telephone conversations. But England and the world only expressed shock and anger when it was found that photographers and editors were spying on the Royal Family.
What they printed was factual, but the objection was to how they acquired the information. Some newspapers had to shut their doors without any public complaints about freedom of the press. But in India, in the middle of February this year, an 84-year-old retired headmaster, who is a life-long Hindu, objected to a book on Hinduism which he, Dinanath Batra, called “malicious, dirty and perverse.”