‘Anti-democratic, intolerant mindset that resists scrutiny’

Ironically, these same TV channels had been criticised by political parties as well as Press Council of India for their coverage of Anna Hazare movement in 2011.

New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2014 5:06 am

Aam Aadmi Party and its leader Arvind Kejriwal came under fire from journalists’ groups for his remarks at a Nagpur fundraiser that some TV channels have been bought over by Narendra Modi to project him as Prime Minister and that he would send media persons to jail if a probe found them guilty.

“I have a video that shows Kejriwal telling one of my reporters “desh mein Modi ki hawa to hai hi (there is a Modi wave in the country). I will air it tonight on my channel,” said Rajat Sharma, chairman and editor-in-chief, India TV . “If he himself believes there is a Modi wave in the country why wouldn’t TV channels cover it?”
Arguing that Kejriwal loved media when it showered its attention on him, he said: “Now that media is criticizing him for his loss of direction, he has taken to threatening us.” India TV was one of the four TV channels Kejriwal’s colleague Sanjay Singh alleged had been “paid for”. The others were India News and Zee News. AAP also singled out Times Now for what it called running a campaign against it.

According to Times Now editor Arnab Goswami, AAP leaders had been peeved with the channel following its questions about their motives. “AAP stopped participating in discussions on our channel following our hard-hitting questions seeking accountability. They need to ponder over why they ran away from serious discussion and resorted to baseless allegations. Is that the only way left to get noticed?”

Ironically, these same TV channels had been criticised by political parties as well as Press Council of India for their coverage of Anna Hazare movement in 2011 to which AAP owes its genesis. Justice Markendey Katju had, then, alleged that “a large section of media lost its objectivity” in covering the Anna Hazare movement.
Justice Katju had said a section of media did not “maintain detachment” and “most journalists practically became part of the movement”.

Ironically, Kejriwal had thanked the media from various public platforms for its role in boosting the movement, then. On being asked if he saw any contradiction in AAP’s views on media in 2011 and now, Ashutosh, AAP leader and former TV journalist said: “Media simply did its duty in covering the Anna movement. It was an event that reflected the mood of the people then. Whereas today, media is being coerced and tempted to cover certain things and people. That’s paid news. It is criminal.”
Senior journalists, however, said it is AAP that is indulging in coercion. “Never ever in my 32 years of experience has a political party threatened to put journalists behind bars,” said India TV’s Sharma. “Kejriwal is saying I can’t take your criticism, and when I have the power, I will put you in jail. Is  this not authoritarianism?”

The Editors Guild of India condemned the “repeated attacks” on the media by Kejriwal that “violate the norms of decent democratic debate,” said a statement by N Ravi, President of the Editors Guild.

Kejriwal’s accusation against the media as being bought by a particular party and candidate and his threat, even if it be an empty one, to send media persons to prison after an inquiry reflect “an intolerant mindset that resents any critical scrutiny”, the statement added.

The Broadcast Editors Association issued a statement saying: “It is wrong to say that TV channels are pursuing a biased agenda in favour of any person or party…such statements are a conspiracy to dilute the credibility of media.” It further said: “…we would request any aggrieved person to approach us with specific complaints and evidence. Vague and sweeping allegations are a sign of weakness.”

A day before Kejriwal’s remarks, Uday Shankar, CEO of India’s largest broadcast network Star India, noted  that “it was the media that created rock stars out of a bunch of street artists and protesters… that created a political party from thin air and installed them in the government.”

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  1. A
    Arjun
    Mar 15, 2014 at 12:12 am
    Cheers are intoxicating but getting drunk is an offense . If cheers can not awards humility it is dangerous .
    Reply
    1. B
      Basir Ali
      Mar 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm
      Most media outlets in India have shown bias against against Kejriwal and his party.
      Reply
      1. D
        Desi dude
        Mar 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm
        Look who is talking???
        Reply
        1. G
          George Cv
          Mar 15, 2014 at 3:19 am
          BEA should investigage arnab goswamy and timesnow.
          Reply
          1. D
            david
            Mar 14, 2014 at 10:43 am
            People knows that Kejriwal is a official agent of corrupt congress. His all leads goes in favour of corrupt congress.
            Reply
            1. D
              Devendra Singh
              Mar 14, 2014 at 10:27 am
              Arvind Kejariwal and his team is becoming nuisance in Indian Politics and they are preaching us not to obey Law of Land. He dines with Nagpurians for Rs 10000/- another way of corruption since AAM adami can not afford it which means he will be surrounded by corrupt public who do not care for money?
              Reply
              1. D
                Devi
                Mar 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm
                Partiality of Media is there. But this Cry and Threat of Kejari is only to get attracted. Congress want him cry louder and louder against Modi, avoiding Rahul, dreaming that AAP can at least do some harm to BJP. But intelligent Indians cannot be cheated by this tacit support of AAP by Congress. They want to bring a stable Government of BJP led by Modi and they know any vote for AAPis a vote for instability and anarchy and an indirect support to Congress.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Dinesh
                  Mar 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm
                  When Modi and the BJP win the election, AK will accuse the BJP of paying off the voters.How rich the BJP must be.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Alshafareen Makani
                    Mar 15, 2014 at 4:03 am
                    Media keep showing sting operations and off camera part of AAP to public all the time. Why they didn't Questioned and pulled up the matter of what Congress and BJP did off camera in the parliaments???? Why they don't do any stings on other parties??? Why they can't show the reality of what AK said with the name...about the villages, schools & Hospitals of Gujrat Vikas????
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                    1. R
                      rajan
                      Mar 15, 2014 at 2:31 am
                      the AAP is a party of agitators and nothing more. the best thing the media can do is stop giving them prominence. they have been receiving cheap publicity at the expense of real debate.the media has let them off the hook do far, its about time that they are posed some tough questions about their economic and development plan for the country apart from being champion of agitationdo indians really want a govt in the form of APP that is going to take to the streets instead of being at the helm of govt. they could not govern delhi , what would make people think that they can govern india. I think Anna is a good judge of character. he knows Kejriwal will be a disaster
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                      1. V
                        Vivek
                        Mar 16, 2014 at 7:27 am
                        Here is a little comparison:Modi was cornered after Ghodra and he answered his critiques and rightfully with his progressive governence and has made a claim on the PM post.AK got the opportunity to bring in a change and clean up as much as possible. He also had the support from media and people. He chose to run away from it.As I see, the choice is quite obvious.
                        Reply
                        1. I
                          Indira
                          Mar 14, 2014 at 11:51 pm
                          We believe Krijiwal is right than any Media now or in future which tries to defame him. These people can't let one good man fighting for betterment of India.
                          Reply
                          1. J
                            jai
                            Mar 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm
                            Common perception is also that AAP is getting undue attention and made larger than life by the Media. So if those guidelines are followed, we might need to jail those AAPCONs too?
                            Reply
                            1. J
                              Jayanarayan Kongasseri
                              Mar 15, 2014 at 2:42 am
                              Mr.Kejriwal has a bunch of blind followers. He does not brook any criticism. This is the reason, he broke away from Annaji, and many others. He has a careful plan to jocky himself into lime light and has his hidden agenda. He pretends honesty, untill an oppurtunity comes his way. He grabbed power, comforts and fame like every other politician when an oppurtunity presents.Pople shouldf not be be fooled by his guiles.
                              Reply
                              1. J
                                Jitendra
                                Mar 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm
                                AAP & Kejriwal forget that they have been created by media.No political party in the history of independent India has got so much coverage before coming to power fact the general complaints of the citizens/viewers/readers against media are that there has been so much of coverage for AAP & AKpare this with so much of negative coverage that RSS/BJP/Modi have been getting from MSM.They have never threatened any one with any kind of consequences.AK and his AAP appear to be a bunch of tyrants now.They don't deserve power even in a munility.
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  KB100
                                  Mar 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm
                                  Media is a for-profit enterprise. They are hand-in-glove with their corporate masters. In many cases, substantial ownership stakes are held by politicians themselves. Who are these media people and journalists kidding? Where are the hard hitting reports exposing the corruption, environmental pollution, tax evasion and overall rot in the corporate and political cl? Oh wait, I forgot that India has the best corporate and political cl on the planet! We can all sleep easy knowing our future is well taken care of...
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Knn
                                    Mar 16, 2014 at 6:59 am
                                    Some of the Modi’s plan of developmentInfrastructure : As of 2009-10, Gujarat’s totalroad length stood at about 77265KM and state highway of 19761KM. According tothe statistics, Gujarat state road has expanded significantly in last 10 yearas compared to growth witnessed in first 50-60 years. A December 2010 WorldBank report “Insutional Development and Good Governance in the HighwaySector – Learning from Gujarat” says“The current plan roadnetwork size of 74,111km is among the highest in terms of network density persq. km. in India’s states and is among the best managed networks among all theIndian states. The annual road sector allocation has grown from USD 30 millionin 1995-1996 to an impressive USD 610 million in 2010-11, currently the secondlargest among all the Indian states”Power: One of the major achievements of the Gujarat government has been on the power front withmany out of the box solutions like separate transmission line for farms leadingto substantial improvement in Power scenario of Gujarat. As of June 2013, 100%of Gujarat’s villages have electricity connection for 24hr power through theJyotirgram Yojana. During this period Gujarat moved from a power deficit stateto a power surplus state.Gujarat'spower sector was in a shambles in 2001, when Narendra Modi became chiefminister. A decade later it is in the forefront of states that have carried out sweeping power reforms,as a result of which it now has surplus power. This case study details the keysteps the government took to bring about the change, which was carried out in amanner fair to all stakeholders.Since the tariff for powerused for agricultural purposes was much lower, many used this subsidized supplyfor their household needs as well, resulting in huge losses for GSEB."The chief minister asked us to have separate feeders,which was a path-breaking step no state had attempted before," Puri adds,"The results were good." Though many rural residents had higher powerbills to pay than in the past, they cooperated with the government, once theyfound they were ured of uninterrupted, better quality power.PSU in Gujarat PSUs has been decentralized, wherein they canenjoy more autonomy in their operational decision . This has improved financial condition of the PSU. The working State PSUsregistered a turnover of ` 63,008.20 crore for 2010-11 as per their latestfinalised accounts
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                                    1. K
                                      Knn
                                      Mar 16, 2014 at 7:15 am
                                      There is no positive side in the case of AAP and their leaders. So it is natural that TV channels can cover only negative aspect. it is not knownwhat Kejri stands for except asking defaulters not to pay their bills, holdingrallies or gstanding in Gujarat. What is his economic vision? What is hisposition on inflation/price rise , development, industry, privatization and foreign policy? It’s only his obsessive hatred for Modi and the media that propels him.
                                      Reply
                                      1. H
                                        hereandnow
                                        Mar 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm
                                        stating the obvious when no one is willing to requires courage,but the statements should not be incongruous and displeasing to the ear.if same thing is said in a lighter vein it will have more effect
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                                          vasavi
                                          Mar 15, 2014 at 2:04 am
                                          hiArvind said not all media people is working for modi . he slammed only few . I also some heard from some of my friends when they write negative comments about Modi those comments are not getting posted . This shows Arvind is right
                                          Reply
                                          1. H
                                            Happy
                                            Mar 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm
                                            AK had no problem when MSM portra him positively for last 4 months and MSM gave him free publisity.
                                            Reply
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