Ahead of the Ram temple consecration ceremony, the Union Government issued an advisory to media outlets and social media platforms on Saturday, January 20. The advisory cautioned against publishing any false, manipulated or any content that could disturb communal harmony or public order related to the January 22 event to be held in Ayodhya.
“The Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya will be celebrated on 22nd January 2024 across India. It is observed that certain unverified, provocative and fake messages are being spread, especially on social media, which can disturb communal harmony and public order,” the advisory said.
The advisory urged newspapers, private satellite TV channels, and digital media publishers in the news and current affairs domain to exercise restraint and avoid disseminating content that is false, manipulated, or has the potential to disturb communal harmony or public order. The advisory drew attention to relevant provisions in the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, and Norms of Journalistic Conduct laid down by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978.
The advisory asked newspapers to be cautious in their reporting, urging them to refrain from publishing news that could "jeopardise, endanger, or harm the paramount interests of the State and society or the rights of individuals.” DUe to this, the advisory added that reasonable restrictions may be imposed by law on the right to freedom of speech and expression under clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.