JAMMU: REPUBLIC Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, along with two others, has today been booked in an abetment of suicide case, after a 53-year-old interior designer allegedly committed suicide, along with his mother, over “non-payment” of dues. The case under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC has been filed by Alibaug police in Mumbai’s neighbouring Raigad district. A suicide note purportedly written by Anvay Naik, MD of Concorde Designs Private Limited, said he was forced to take his life as he was not paid his Rs 5.40-crore dues by the three. Naik and his mother were found dead at their farmhouse in Kavir village of Alibaug Taluka on Saturday.
Not paying dues to anybody is an act of shame and abetting anyone to commit suicide is a matter of investigation and judicial process. Mr Goswami, how will you feel if someone today shouts at you and says: Shame on You. I think you should not mind, as you have been habitual of doing this with panelists on your show to grab eye balls.
If you have forgotten let me remind you how unethically you behaved with Jammu Bar president B. S Slathia, during your prime time show. How come you tend to be a prosecutor and a judge while carrying out judicial trials and belittling those who are denied of any space to express themselves.
‘…Shame on you Mr Slathia…this man who you see on panel…was creating riots in Jammu…This shameless man…”, this is almost how Arnab Goswami of REPUBLIC television channel referred to Jammu Bar Association President B. S. Slathia in the midst of controversy over Jammu agitation, unfortunately synchronizing with presentation of charge-sheet in Kathua rape and murder case.
The jingoistic channel REPUBLIC ran a campaign #Justice for ….( mentioning name of the eight year child by ignoring standing guidelines about withholding the identity of a rape victim). Though the channel corrected its hash tag later but the anchor Arnab Goswami went out of way in maligning the Jammu agitation as support for rapists without cross-checking the issues raised by Bar Association Jammu, spearheading the agitation. These issues headlined the local media much before the successful agitation. Nobody supported rapists. Everybody vouched for justice to the girl. This was one of the several issues like deportation of Rohingyas from Jammu, withdrawal of guidelines by Tribal Welfare Department with regard to drives against forest land encroachments by Gujjars and Bakerwals and alleged change of Jammu demography. But all these issues got submerged under the ‘motivated’ campaign in Kathua case. There appeared to be least concern for the victim. Why?
And, when BAJ chief tried to ask this crucial ‘why’, he was snubbed, shamed and humiliated by an anchor, who exercised his all discretion to tell ‘the nation’ what he wanted to say but denying elderly Senior Advocate a chance to say what ‘the nation actually wanted to know’. The disgraceful treatment meted out to the elderly lawyer has shaken the confidence of ‘common man’ in media. The BAJ chief had to leave the show in the midst.
“Was BAJ chief shameless, Mr Goswami?” What sort of journalism is being practiced in this era of cheap and jingoistic media activism and with what motivation?
Selective media activism, more so under the pretense of ultra-nationalism, is hurting more than putting any healing balm on the bruised Indian psyche. Like politicians, activists, civil society groups and all sorts of liberals, Indian media too has got enough of democracy, perhaps more than what advanced democracies across the world provide to their subjects.
The worse fall-out of the media activism was desperately witnessed in Jammu, the most thronged and popular pilgrim destination of north India, over the sad killing and rape of an eight years child. Under a well orchestrated and planned campaign, the entire Hindu dominated region got maligned as rape supporters with a worship place ‘Devasthan’ painted as den of rape. The echoes were heard in far away London with a Pak origin Lord seeking indulgence of British Parliament. Noises were also raised by global terrorist with US $10 million bounty Hafiz Sayeed from his safe haven in Pakistan. For a moment, a so-called Indian nationalist television channel and the global terrorist came on same page. Could it be just a coincidence or there is some sort of link between the two? Silent nationalist Indian majority has reason and a right to question.
For some time now, a section of Indian media has been enjoying overt and covert support of agencies, organizations and individuals inimical to unity, integrity and tranquility of the nation. Patently some of these groups and organisations sound hyper nationalists but at times they actually play murkier role than the anti-nationals under the pretext of exposé.
Interestingly, the anchor and his associate of REPUBLIC television channel, is allegedly accused of stealing the content of TIMES NOW they previously worked with. According to reports, he is facing charges under section 378, with sections 379, 403, 405, with sections 406, 409, 411, 414 and 418 of the Indian Penal Code, besides Section 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the IT Act, 2000 filed in a complaint by Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) with the Azad Maidan Police Station in Mumbai. The anchors are alleged to have retained the contents pertaining to Sunnanda Pushkar case and tapes regarding phone calls of Lallu Yadav with a lawmaker Shahab-ud-Din in prison.
Some of the television channels are known for enjoying official patronage to have first access to news. This happened during the National Investigation Agency raids on the premises of money launderers in Srinagar, Kashmir in the wee hours of June 4, 2017. Supposed to have been a most guarded secret, the REPUBLIC camera crews covered the raids by deploying several teams from outside the Valley even as the local and pro-active Srinagar based national and international media besides politicians had been kept out of loop. This means the channel had been taken on board. By whom and why? Nation would obviously want to know.
Ironically, the channel known for its hyper nationalistic credentials usually plays host to panelists from Kashmir and across the border, who bruise and abuse India, Indian symbols and Indian security forces. They are regular faces and some of them from the Valley have even participated in the debates from New Delhi or Mumbai studios to spit venom against India. Someone must be paying for such trips. Why? Can’t be just to increase scoring Target Rating Points (TRPs)? These regular faces have become so hardened that they take vicarious pleasure in hammering India on Indian television channels with impunity. Why? Nation would certainly want to know.
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