Indian newspapers are walking a fine line after the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
While many passionate editorials defending the right to expression were published after the terror attacks in France, hardly any paper actually republished controversial cartoons from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Mint, one of the few mainstream media organisations to carry some of the cartoons, has now decided to delete them from their website. They had carried the cartoons on their front page on Jan. 8.
In a note to its readers, the country’s second financial newspaper, owned by Hindustan Times, has said that the visuals offended some people.
Note to readers: The front page visual capturing the unfortunate terrorist attack in Paris was carried in the best traditions of journalism. However, we have received feedback that it has offended some people. Since that was never the intention, we have removed the same. Mint stays committed to the principles of responsible journalism.
Quartz could not independently verify the reasons behind the decision. Email and phone calls to R. Sukumar, editor at Mint remains unanswered.
Mint’s decision to withdraw the content was slammed on social media where many said that the newspaper lacked courage.
On Thursday, Mumbai police had decided to block 650 social media posts that contained cartoons from the French magazine.
Last week, angry protesters had burnt copies of India’s Indian Express newspaper in New Delhi, which had reported a story on India’s decision to blow up a Pakistani boat near Gujarat. The newspaper had argued that the boat from Pakistan was carrying smuggled goods, but was not involved in any terrorism-related activity.
Meanwhile, a German newspaper that reprinted Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons was firebombed on Sunday.