NDTV and Fali Nariman at the Press Club


By: Shreepal Singh

Fali Nariman – the supposed best jurist ever born – and a bunch of high profile old faces convened a press meeting at the Press Club today on 10th of June, 2017. Nariman read out a press statement.

As per this statement, the maker of this statement was requested to do so by Pronny Roy of NDTV.

This statement makes a grievance that Pronny Roy of NDTV – the accused in the case – was not first informed about the accusation and questioned before registering of an FIR against him on 2.6.2017.

This FIR was registered against him on a complaint made by a private person – Sanjay Dutt – on 28.5.2017.

The statement insinuates that it was all done at the behest of the government because BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra was insulted by NDTV’s anchor on 1.6.2017 during a TV show on his (Patra’s) making a statement that NDTV has an agenda to serve (and not giving innocuous news).

This statement uses a flowery language and decorates it with quotes from the Indian Supreme Court and an ancient US judicial authority to buttress the point that often one party majority government is a risk to liberty and that it is advisable to err on the side of freedom.

Nariman even quotes Indira Gandhi’s emergency to raise his objections against the raids conducted by CBI on the NDTV premises.

Though, being a master blaster of the art of playing with words that he is, Nariman could have with equal force and justification played for India “whatever it is today”  and (could have) said that India had suffered enough until recently at the hands of “unstable coalition” governments; that Indian people were extremely fortunate and wise in accomplishing a seemingly impossible task – the task of putting a “stable – one party majority government” in place; and that India because of this feat has been able to gain an enhanced prestige among the comity of nations.

But Nariman chose to play on the other side and against this India.

Nariman, entering the arena (the debate over the NDTV raids by CBI) with an innocuous intention, takes the side of law by opening his statement with his stand that he is satisfied – if not happy – with the right of the investigating agency to prob any illegality that might have been committed by Prannoy Roy and that he has no objection against this right of CBI but an objection against the “manner and circumstances” in which the FIR was registered against him.

But he, after thus preparing the ground with these soft words, pounces upon the Modi Government with his full force with an exhortation to the Indian media to rise in support of NDTV in unison. An adept in using words as weapons, he quotes the victims of the Hitler’s holocaust, “When they came for Communists, I did not care because I was not a Communist; then they came for Trade Unionists and I did not care because I was not a Trade Unionist; then they came for Jews and I did not care because I was not a Jew; and then they came for me but then there was nobody left to care for me.”

Who is “they” in the Indian context? It is the central government led by Narendra Modi. And, we are made to believe and get ready to face the scary moments in coming times in India, just like in Hitler’s Germany: Auschwitz Gas Chambers!

One may, Like Fali Nariman, equally say that he has no objection to what Nariman said but to the “manner” in which he says what he said: stealthily and silently approaching the unsuspecting prey and then pouncing upon it with full force!

First, F Nariman would be well advised to know – as he very well knows but plays ignorant of – that investigating agencies – like CBI – conduct raids without informing the accused so that the evidence in the case is not destroyed. Here in this case, it was vital for the CBI to recover documents linking Pronny Roy with the concerned Bank officials in the conspiracy to defraud the Bank, and recover them before they (documents) were destroyed by the accused. The entire success of the case depended on the swiftness of this operation.

Secondly, complaint was made on 28.5.2017, which was much before 1.6.2017 when the alleged spat with Patra took place. On that ground there exists no reason to take revenge against NDTV.

Should we not conclude that in this Press Club antics, the bunch of people seen there on the table (in the Press Club) had to do what they did to repay the debt they owe to the ex-rulers who were unseated by Modi?

Law will take its own course; and all the incriminating material against Prannoy Roy of NDTV will go before the court for judicial scrutiny. But that apart, the real question – with which the people of India are more concerned – still remains to be answered.

What if the NDTV has an “agenda” to serve instead of disseminating the innocent news? Suppose it is so. Government of the day is nothing less than a government. It is the legitimate government. It owes certain duties to the people: say, ensuring security of the country against internal and external threats. Licence is given to a TV channel not to serve an agenda but to broadcast news and information. Suppose, NDTV is serving an agenda, which issue was raised by Sambit Patra during the show of this NDTV, the agenda to unseat Modi and his government!

Suppose for a moment, it is so! We are back to square one, notwithstanding the Nariman’s statement, on the issue facing this country. Nariman should not try by his ‘wordy weapon’ to undo the work of Indian government – the responsibility of the Indian government – to ensure that an electronic media, like NDTV, does not serve an agenda: the agenda to destabilize a duly elected government … so that India again becomes weak and prey to foreign evil designs!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Santanu Dey
    Jun 11, 2017 @ 14:47:49

    In India a poor fellow caught stealing fifty rupees has no mercy in the eye of law but a guy stealing Rs. 50 crores has a lot of backers because the latter is connected by birds of the same feather all of whom are influential people. To my mind it is this second category of people who should be shown no mercy whatsoever; after all the 50-rupees variety falls in the category of “Bubhukshita Kim Na Karati Papam” while the latter’s incentive is solely his/her personal greed and this category of perpetrators not only sink themselves but also take a lot of other innocent citizens along with – hence no considerations for RRPR.

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    • IPC
      Jun 11, 2017 @ 23:18:56

      The raid on NDTV is a sign that the law will catch them all. The big and powerful are afraid because of this and are ganging up together to save their skin – as next it may be their turn. They are talking of Hitler … in India … in their fear.

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