No intention to ban large dailies, but to promote small ones

No intention to ban large dailies, but to promote small ones

The West Bengal government today said a specific list of newspapers has been drawn up for state-aided and sponsored libraries to promote small newspapers and there was no intention to ban large dailies.

"The state government's purpose is to promote small newspapers and encourage free thinking which does not mean that we have imposed censorship on big newspapers or banned them," Library Minister Abdul Karim Chowdhury said, adding five more dailies have been incorporated in the list of eight specified newspapers.

"Major dailies need no backing which small ones require and this prompted the state government to ask libraries to subscribe to some of them in the interest of their promotion," he said.

The minister said he had a discussion with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday "and she has given her consent to our move".

Chowdhury said in addition to eight dailies already notified for subscription by state-aided and sponsored libraries, five more newspapers, including an English daily, have been added to the list.

A fresh notification would be made in a day or two, he said.
A top government source had said last night that the order to the libraries by the Department of Mass Education Extension and Library Services was being amended incorporating an English daily, beside an Olchiki, Nepali and a Bengali daily to the original list of eight newspapers.

The order by the state government had evoked criticism from Trinamool ally Congress, Left parties and the intelligentsia which said the decision was undemocratic, undesirable and worse than censorship with a demand being made for withdrawal of the circular.

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