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Does NDTV really need 'Freedom of Press' to come out clean?

 2017-06-10 10:07:23.0

Does NDTV really need Freedom of Press to come out clean?

Tahlka News Bureau

I am currently staying in Union City, which is also known as the San Fransisco Bay Area in California, today while browsing through some Indian Newspapers to know the happenings, back home. A news item related to a programme held in support of the NDTV in the Press Club of India prompted me to look for the story of YouTube for full sense of the event.

It was shocking to see the "trade unionism' of the 'haves' on the lawns of the Press Club at Delhi. Not even one of the speakers on the occasion, and I say it with full sense of responsibility, has ever extended any support to the cause of any exploited employee of the media houses. These worthy speakers have almost invariably behaved like rats before cats when it came to speaking against the owners.

It defies all reasoning how a case of money laundering and defaulting of payments is an attack on the freedom of the media? This way any media house owner can do any wrong and if some action is initiated against him/her, he or she can hide behind veneer of the freedom of the media. Why the owners of the NDTV want to put pressure on the investigating agencies through such meetings, can anybody's guess. Do they think that it is only they who are right and all other apparatuses of the State are wrong and untrustworthy? If that is their belief and those of other speakers on the lawns of the Press Club, then they are sadly mistaken.

Let the NDTV and other media organisations stop behaving like 'law and unto themselves' and submit to the law of the land. That is how, they will serve the cause of journalism and also win the trust of the people. But how they are acquitting themselves, it gives rise to the fact they have much to conceal and are afraid to face the rigours of the law. You cannot blow hot and cold at the same time as Goswami Tulasidas said in Ramcharitmanas 'ek sang na dui hoi bhualu, hansab-thathaib phulaib gaalu'(you cannot laugh and lived at the same time). Here on the one hand, the owners of the NDTV are playing victim card and on the other hand they say that they would fight. Fight against whom and fight for what? Come out clean to establish the rule of law. This bravado cannot befool the people. If the Modi Government yields to such pressures, the teeming- toiling masses will not forgive this government.

By Parmanad Pandey

Author is senior journalist and secretory General of IFWJ


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