SENIOR JOURNALIST and former Union Minister Arun Shourie said on Friday that the Supreme Court judgment into the plea on Rafale deal — he was one of the petitioners — had only diminished the judiciary’s credibility.
Shourie was in Nagpur to give away prizes to the winners of Late Arvindbabu Deshmukh Patrakarita Puraskar, instituted in the memory of former state Congress chief Ranjit Deshmukh’s father.
Replying to a question if he regretted having moved the SC, Shourie told mediapersons on the sidelines of the function: “Why should I regret? In fact, the ruling that came had only diminished the judiciary’s credibility. The ruling had contents plagiarised from the government note that was submitted to the court. So, we have proved our point.” He added that he was filling a review petition in the matter.
The SC had recently dismissed four petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France.
Shourie lamented that only a couple of newspapers and news channels in the country are doing the job expected of the media. “Journalism has been reduced to taking opinions from two sides. That’s all. Rest have become instrument of government propaganda. No effort is made to read and get facts. Like in Rafale case, all you needed to do is go to Internet and read the Defence Procurement Policy and Offset Policy to know the truth. But that was not done.”
He added, “The duty of journalists is to speak truth to the power and also to the people. A dog with a bone in his mouth can’t bark. The question is not what (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi does. The question is what you do. The rulers would always want you to believe in what they, and not what you, believe in. So, only your authenticity will lend you credibility.”
“Earlier, people like Ramnath Goenka would dabble in real estate business to be able to run his paper. Now, people run their papers to help their businesses. The problem is journalists have become rich,” Shourie said.
Senior journalists Uday Nirgudkar (IBN Lokmat), Sunil Chawke (Maharashtra Times), Nishant Sarvankar and N M Joshi (Loksatta), Vijay Bawiskar (Lokmat), Deepa Kadam (Sakal), Vijay Gaikwad (Agrovan) and Ramrao Jagtap (e-media portal Aksharnama) were honoured with the award. Senior journalist and editor of Lokmat, Suresh Dwadashiwar, was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.