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Indian mogul defends hostile takeover of broadcaster

Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani’s attempt to buy NDTV sparked controversy over press freedom.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani said he sees the acquisition of prominent broadcaster New Delhi Television (NDTV) as a “responsibility” rather than a business opportunity.

and Interview with the Financial Times Asia’s richest man announced on Friday said the media should have the “courage” to support the government if it is right.

Adani, who is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said: “Independence means that if the government does something wrong, it is wrong.

Under Mr Modi’s watch, India fell 10 places in the global press freedom ranking by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, ranking 150 out of 180 countries surveyed.

Journalists critical of the government have been harassed, arrested and subjected to widespread abuse by supporters of the Modi government on social media. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In August, an Adani Group company indirectly acquired a 29% stake in NDTV, with an additional bid of 26%. The proposed acquisition remains pending.

NDTV is one of the few Indian broadcasters that is critical of the government and does not always follow official lines.

“Why can’t we help one media house to have an independent global footprint?” Adani told the newspaper, adding, “There is not a single single in India.” [outlet] Compare with the Financial Times and Al Jazeera. ”

Adani, whose interests range from Australian coal mines to Indian ports, will launch a “super app” in three to six months that will connect passengers at Adani airport with other services of his conglomerate. said it was planned.

He also plans to invest more than $4 billion in a petrochemical complex in western Gujarat, where he and Modi are from.

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