Taking offence to the lampooning of politicians, including members of his own family, in satire shows on local TV channels, and reports speculating on the future of the ruling JDS-Congress coalition in Karnataka, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said he has been mulling a law to control the media for “portraying us in a bad light”.
Speaking at the release of two books authored by journalist Prasanna Kumar in Mysuru Sunday, Kumaraswamy said: “Who are you trying to help by portraying us in bad light? I have been thinking about introducing a law to control this. In the name of humour, they are defaming politicians. What is your opinion of politicians? Why do you target politicians? Who has given you the authority to portray politicians in bad light without any basis?”
Referring to the media, he said: “I am really saddened by the way news channels are functioning. I stay away from them these days. Let them do what they want… Channels should consider telecasting constructive news over speculative stories.’’ Incidentally, Kumaraswamy himself is the owner of Kannada news channel Kasthuri News, which is run by his wife and MLA Anitha Kumaraswamy.
The future of the JDS-Congress coalition in Karnataka has been a frequent subject of speculation since it came to power last May. The media has reported the imminent fall of the government on several occasions, even as Kumaraswamy and coalition leaders have insisted that the reports are “mere speculation”.
“I want to say clearly that the news channels on TV have replaced entertainment channels and are running news like the serial episodes on entertainment channels. I am watching all this and enjoying the fiction you have been creating,’’ Kumaraswamy said in January when channels reported the possible exit of over a dozen coalition MLAs to join the Opposition BJP.
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, where three members from Kumaraswamy’s extended family have been fielded, the Chief Minister’s family has been a favourite subject for criticism and lampooning on local channels.
Before the Lok Sabha polls, two BJP candidates — Prathap Simha and Tejasvi Surya — obtained gag orders from a local court in Bengaluru against media reportage of material they claimed was prima facie defamatory.