Modi govt suspends RSS journal started by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Rashtra Dharma, the RSS journal was started by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1947.

The Information and Broadcast ministry has suspended Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mouthpiece and monthly journal Rashtra Dharma, which is published from Lucknow. Notably, the journal was started by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The suspension comes after the Directorace of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), under the union government, issued an advisory on April 6, stating that 804 newspapers and journals on the DAVP panel have not submitted monthly issues from October 2016 to February 2017 in Press Information Bureau (PIB) and DAVP offices as per the DAVP database.

The list includes 165 newspapers and journals published in Uttar Pradesh. The ministry’s website, also mentions clause 13 of the Print Media Advertisement Policy-2016 to speak of the “regularity” in which it is mandatory that “all newspapers empanelled with DAVP shall submit their monthly copies to DAVP before 15th of the subsequent month, failing which, advertisement shall be stopped to that newspaper”.

Monthly issues of Rashtra Dharma — whose first editor was Atal Bihari Vajpayee, have reportedly not been submitted by the publisher to the designated offices. Hence, it’ll be suspended in accordance with clause 25(b) of the Print Media Advertisement Policy-2016.

Manager of Rashtra Dharma Prakashan, Pawan Putra Badal, reportedly said that he has not received any official communication from the ministry regarding the suspension. He also said that the decision will only suspend the release of advertisements by the I&B Ministry to the journal and that other Union ministries and state governments could still give advertisements to Rashtra Dharma.

He has written to the DAVP, urging it to express regret that such a decision has been taken without the journal being given any prior notice.