An Open Letter to NDTV’s Prannoy Roy

By: Rajeet Bole

Dear Prannoy,

I recall my chance meeting with you in Amsterdam 13-years back at the IBC when as a TV journalist, I had respect for you…I stopped watching TV News ever since I walked out of newsroom 8-years back, but I surfed through NDTV’s primetime bulletins yesterday…And I was alarmed on the way of NDTV’s treatment of the raids on you… I have both questions and advice for you…..

  1. NDTV studio was not raided when the news was live…nor there was a pistol seen on the head of your anchors to read what ‘THIS GOVT WANTS’…rather your anchor was ‘educating’ the audience about Poland and Trump’s USA ..then where was the pressure or attempt to ‘muzzle or gag the media’…sorry, the ‘free media’ that you are?
  1. My question is simple, how come raid on ‘promoter of NDTV’, became raid on ‘NDTV the press’ and how come the raid on promoter became 1st news and overshadowed your primetime? There are so many raids that happen in this country on suspects every day, does NDTV give the same news space to all such ‘accused’ or ‘involved’ who later may be ‘exonerated’ or ‘convicted’? Or was it a privilege extended or always enjoyed by NDTV’s promoter?
  1. Even if personally, you may feel ‘threatened’ why will that threat translate into journalism of NDTV-the press? Haven’t you built a strong institution? Or have you built it to favour you as an individual in the name of fourth pillar of democracy? Are you so weak that you can be threatened? Isn’t NDTV an independent channel? Or is it there to serve the interests and whims and fancies of its promoter? Why the channel looks perturbed? News profession is to serve people’s interest or promoters interest? Shouldn’t both be independent? If not, then are you doing justice to the cause for which you have taken licence to run the channel? Or, have you abused NDTV-the media platform to fight for NDTV’s promoter?
  1. Rather, isn’t with the media muscle that you have, the support of so called ‘journalists’ from around the world your channel is flaunting, and aren’t you trying to influence the investigations?
  1. I am neither privy to the documents which CBI has nor you have put up on your website all those documents for public scrutiny, so I will not go on those issues. You have also updated your statement yesterday…why? I had written in response to your first statement, no revert (below). But, what led you to compare Prannoy Roy with other defaulters that in NDTV’s words ‘Govt. is doing…..’ does other’s crime make allegations against you to be dropped? If the allegations are proved true, that should amount to not mere default, but conspiracy and fraud….if you are exonerated, you can sue for damages, right? Why you do not want to face the law? You are law abiding or not? You have faith in our country or no?
  1. You run a journalism school at NDTV, ads come out with your photo for that school…I am sure you must have been teaching students that the importance of balancing a story in journalism….perhaps you need to send your those ‘journalists’, if they qualify this tag, to that school, not to teach, but to learn what is the meaning of ‘balancing a story’……only if you have been teaching this in your school. Because, your bulletins yesterday were only one sided blabber, without giving equal weightage to allegations against you. Wasn’t it?
  1. The licence of a news channel is acquired to do journalistic activity. What was done in your primetime bulletins was hardly journalism….It was a failed attempt by the Channel to exonerate the promoter….is this the media activity for which channels are given licence…..the channel is given licence to do news or to be used or abused by the promoters to cover up and defend their wrongdoings, if any?
  1. What was done yesterday in your bulletins was proclaim that NDTV and its promoters are innocent, honest, law abiding, and journalists….I wish they are, but I wonder that they are… Just because you do business out of media and claim to be journalists, does not give you immunity if you commit a crime…..I am sure you may have heard of names of Peter and Indrani Mukhejee…..they too were ‘media’….at a time. So, wait, let the law take its own course….
  1. NDTV calls the raids on you a witch hunt, do you believe in institutions or even you don’t have faith in this country any longer? The same country which allowed you to become the self-styled demi-god of journalism?
  1. In long years of NDTV, you have run media trails on lots of people, many of them were never charged…ever thought of their harassment and the ordeal? Did your channel ever run a campaign, you run so many of them on the advise of your marketing department….. Ever thought of running a campaign on differentiating news and media trails?
  1. Take out the bulletin tape of the day when Actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced….while courts were pronouncing the judgement, your anchor Abhigyan Prakash was proving in his bulletin how unjust it was to sentence Dutt and why not to exonerate him…..This is the kind of justice NDTV believes in?..Radiia tape..You had also set up a Kangaroo court to exonerate your Editor- Barkha Dutt, mind doing that now?
  1. You did not take name of Narendra Modi yesterday directly, but you pointed at it…after all he is the head of this government. He is the same Narendra Modi against whom NDTV indulged in witch-hunt, all in name of your ‘secularism’…. NDTV and its stooge, battery of them ran this campaign to malign his reputation and tried to implicate him for years…… But the same ‘courts’ you had high opinion about yesterday in your bulletin, were never convinced in NDTV’s allegations against Modi. Not even in the following 10-years central regime of the Congress govt whose ‘secularism’ you swear for during 2004-2014.
  1. Look at your TRPs, you were never accepted as people’s voice or as the mass channel, because the ordinary citizen of India has faith in this great country than in the ‘secularism’ that you define in your newsroom and the agendas you have….  But no, the audiences that do not watch NDTV are fools, only the handful of ‘seculars’ that watch NDTV have a right to rule, govern, direct and dictate what the elected govt of India should do….Right? You disrespected courts’ wisdom and judgement of the crores of people? Didn’t you? No wonder a retired Supreme Court Judge coined the term ‘Presstitute’
  1. I too was once called by CBI, ‘because I had worked at the CWG,  I put up my fb status as ‘ Free Bird meets Caged Parrot’.  I sipped nice tea and surfed facebook at their office,,, It went on for hours, but it was fun…..remember ‘Satyamev Jayate’….you need to worry only if you have committed wrong.
  1. Wait….if you are honest and truthful, you will be exonerated..Well if is takes time in years,  it will…..You have ran lots of stories as NDTV impact…. Thank God, NDTV is the reason for making India a better place, then have faith in the judicial system which may take sometime….If it feels too much of a time, then alas, NDTV could not improve the judicial system of India.
  1. Finally, Rahul Gandhi has started reading Upnishads and Geeta to take on the BJP…whether he will be able to do that or not nobody knows, I hope at least he will become a more reasonable person. I would advise you too to read Geeta and Upnishads ….err sorry…..you are a ‘secular’ person, so read whatever spiritual text you want and all will preach the same thing.
  1. International Yoga Day is not far….I would urge you to do some Yoga … balance in life will help you bring some balance in NDTV’s news too, I hope. Good Luck!!

(This letter was originally posted HERE)

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