A high-level delegation of the National Union of Journalists (India) and Delhi Journalists Association (DJA) called on the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at his office. The delegation sought strict action against the Congress spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi who misbehaved with the anchor of a television news channel. The delegation also sought protection from the attacks and intimidation to news channel anchors and journalists.
Asserting that such incidents give a very wrong message in democracy, the Minister said if this is done on live broadcast on a national network, what security and safety would there be for the journalists in regional areas and smaller towns. “This must be noted very seriously by Congress president Rahul Gandhi who is continuously talking about love and non-violence, but his party spokespersons are resorting to violence. This must be taken seriously by him. Democracy should not be brought down to such low levels,” the Minister told the media after meeting the NUJ(I) delegation.
The Minister assured the NUJ(I) delegation to look into the matter and take appropriate action. The delegation was led by NUJ(I) Secretary General Manoj Verma and was comprised of NUJ(I) Treasurer Rakesh Arya, DJA President Manohar Singh, General Secretary Dr Pramod Kumar, DJA Vice Presidents Rakesh Shukla and Anurag Punetha and NUJ(I) National Executive Member Pramod Mujumdar.
“The kind of language the Congress leaders are using is an attempt to suppress the voice of the media. This is a very serious matter. This practice may lead to further violence against journalists in the entire country. When an ordinary party worker sees his party spokesperson using this sort of language and indulging in intimidation, he resorts to violence against local media persons,” the NUJ(I) memorandum submitted to the Minister said.
The memorandum said the tendency shown by the Congress leaders during the Emergency in 1975 is again being displayed now and the journalists, news channel anchors and other media persons are being targeted by spokespersons of the Congress and some other political parties. “In the manner, the Congress spokespersons are intimidating TV anchors, journalists and the media persons is the chilling reminder of the Emergency. This is a severe blow to the freedom of the press,” the memorandum added. “What a spokesperson speaks about the spokesperson of other political party is not the business of the media. What we expect is decorum and decency of language. But now it is being observed that the spokespersons of the Congress openly intimidate and abuse the anchors in television studios. Rajeev Tyagi not only used foul languages but also indulged in intimidation at anchor Ameesh Devgan’s show. Rajiv Tyagi has done it in the past also and that video went viral on social media.
Dinesh Kumar, Office Secretary, NUJ(I)