India's Newest Media Baron Embraces Censorship

Narendra Modi's corporate cheerleaders are buying up the media.
The campaign by India’s corporate-owned media to promote Modi seems to have worked. Mukesh Ambani and Narendra Modi in October 2013. Photographer: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

Bold initiatives characterize India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani , who famously lives in a 27-story building in Mumbai, a city where most people languish in slums. Last month, his company, Reliance Industries Ltd. , sought to prevent circulation of a new book which claims that Reliance successfully pressured the previous Indian government to double the price of natural gas. Amazon received a cease and desist notice, as did even an individual who had merely forwarded an e-mail invitation to the book's launch. And Thursday, Ambani moved to buy a whole swath of the Indian media: Bloomberg News reports that Reliance, which has already invested $11 billion in a high-speed cellular network, will now spend $678 million for majority stakes in two major media companies, Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. and TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

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