Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CBI raids on NDTV is vindictive

Every Indian knows that all are equal before the law. And whosoever has done wrong must face the consequences. But the way CBI raids were conducted on the places belonging to Opposition leaders' or their relatives and national TV news channel NDTV clearly makes perception that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA govt. is trying to suppress and quell the freedom of expression and voice of dissent. The CBI raids on NDTV's co-founder Prannoy Roy’s Delhi and Dehraddun residences have been described by the channel as witch-hunting. There is also a strong perception among the public that NDTV news channel broadcasts news objectively. It neither supports nor opposes the government moves unnecessarily but analyses them on merit. This raid clearly indicates that the Narendra Modi govt. wants the news channel to toe its lines. The company that runs NDTV has allegedly caused loss to a private bank. The CBI has raided NDTV in regard to this after a complaint was lodged. In the recent days, the CBI, ED and other agencies have raided the premises of opposition leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter Misa Yadav's places and the residence of senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambram's son Kartik Chidambram for alleged economic irregularities. The govt. must act against all those, howsoever powerful they may be, but at the same time, it is its responsibility to ensure that there is no witch-hunting. The raid on NDTV has sent the message loud and clear in the world of media to prepare for the same consequences if they did not fall in line with the govt. In a democracy, the press is the fourth estate. It is independent and it acts as a watchdog in the society. It has right to criticize the govt. programme and policies on the basis of their merits. The witch-hunting charges of the NDTV against the govt. must also be taken seriously. All opposition leaders, social and political activists must come forward to oppose govt. vindictive action to suppress the voice of dissent. In democracy, the voice of dissent is as important as any other thing. Modi govt. has created a perception through its action among the people that it is witch-hunting all those who are disagreeable to it. Media plays the most important role in strengthening the democracy and keeping a close watch on the functioning of the govt. A perception has also developed in the country that most of the TV news channels have lost their credibility under the temptation of the govt. It has also been realized by the newspaper owners, readers, and journalists that advertisements from DAVP are generally issued in bulk to those newspapers, which support the Modi govt. and cut down its number drastically to the newspapers which only carry news objectively. NDTV news channel is one of the oldest ones. It is credible, free and frank. It has always been unbiased and impartial. It carries its responsibility very sincerely. Whether it is BJP or Congress govt. at the Centre, it analyses the issue on merit. It criticizes govt. moves objectively. By raiding NDTV, the govt. appears to be sending a message that whether it is media or any other common organization, the law will take its own course. But at the same time, it also must be ensured that govt. is not acting with any ulterior motive. The raid on NDTV must be opposed by all opposition parties if it has not committed anything illegal. NDTV channel’s 'witch-hunt' charges after a case were registered against the channel's co-founder Prannoy Roy and others for causing an alleged loss to a private bank. NDTV has vowed to fight tirelessly against the 'witch-hunt by multiple agencies'.

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