Disclosure: The author of this article first published on News laundry worked at NDTV from 1995 to 2011.
I must place on record my deep admiration for Subhash Chandra. Such 24 carat, self-righteousness delivered with a straight face. The man who founded Zee TV wants NDTV India to be banned not for one day, but for life. Dr Chandra thinks the channel played with the security of the country and therefore for this anti-national act, NDTV India, should be guillotined.
देश की सुरक्षा में दो मत नहीं हो सकते। सरकार द्वारा NDTV इंडिया पर एक दिवसीय प्रतिबन्ध को मैं बिलकुल सही मानता हूँ! (5/5)
— Dr. Subhash Chandra (@subhashchandra) November 6, 2016
We are in “Justice” Subhash Chandra’s fast-track Twitter court, where in just five tweets, he pronounced NDTV India guilty. For Dr Chandra, who is a Rajya Sabha member of Parliament elected with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) support, to study the case and deliver such an important judgement, would have meant working very hard. He must have felt like the character of Dr Mashoor Gulati on The Kapil Sharma Show, who very sweetly says, “what a busy day”’.
Subhash Chandra has company in delivering quick judgements in Venkaiah Naidu, the country’s Information and Broadcasting Minister. Naidu announced that “the country is broadly happy’” with the decision to ban NDTV India for a day. Love Mr Naidu for these quick surveys that he gets commissioned. I suppose if you set your mind on a task, you will get it done, your way.
Dr Chandra is a learned man. I am sure he would have done a thorough investigation through his team that once NDTV India is off air, Pakistan terrorists won’t get any information from India in real time during a terror attack. Their fidayeen won’t have a clue what exactly to look out for inside an air base, should they dare to infiltrate and attack again, without help from the NDTV India reporter. Remember it was that NDTV Indiajournalist through whom Pakistan handlers came to know that there are jets and ammunition inside the Pathankot air base. Not vegetables, as they had imagined.
If Dr Chandra’s advice is accepted, this will be a masterstroke as it will cut off Pakistan’s broadcast supply. There will be no more terror strikes on India. No wonder Pakistan terrorist Hafiz Saeed hates Zee TV. It is admirable how spunk is not in short supply in this group. Two of its senior editors were arrested in 2012 after a sting operation allegedly caught them in the act of trying to “extort Rs 100 crore worth of ads” from industrialist Naveen Jindal’s group. They were sent to jail and subsequently released on bail. But Dr Chandra does not let any of that blemish come in the way of raising his voice against NDTV India‘s compromise with the country’s security. Kudos.
Over the past 48 hours, reactions on social media have convinced me that journalists as a community are a dangerous lot. A lot many eggs on Twitter have the enlightened opinion that journalists are scums on earth, the worst lot who would not flinch from selling their mother and their motherland for selfish gains. That journalists by and large are anti-national, Pakistani in Indian clothing, who deserved to be thrown into jail or banished to Pakistan, who should be raped or the treatment given to their wives and sisters. The quantum of ‘punishment’ and the language of the verdict goes down progressively depending on how deep in the gutter the faceless troll is. Needless to say, NDTV bears the brunt of this vicious venom.
Dr Chandra, with all his years of experience, understands this. Which is why he perhaps wants NDTV India to be made a test case. Future generations of journalists won’t be able to thank him enough to call out the black sheep and order that the channel walk into the sunset.
I would in fact, take it a step forward and suggest that all journalists undergo a patriotism test. And it should be mentioned in their Aadhaar card. Dr Chandra can help devise a test format, with help from other wrapped in the tricolour nationalistic editors, on the parameters on which to judge a journalist. Some would be 63 per cent patriotic, someone else 37.8 per cent, and so on.
Dr Chandra should also help devise what questions journalists can ask and what they can’t. His colleague on such a commission can be Kiren Rijiju, who has already frowned upon the Indian media’s habit of asking questions to security forces (including the army and the police). This list should be compulsory syllabus at all media schools.
This is the only way we can create an entire new generation of journalists who wouldn’t even in their wildest of dreams, think of being anti-national. So far, channels like NDTV India were broadcasting state secrets on air for the sake of ratings. The mindblowing souls on Facebook and Twitter tell me that increase in ratings is directly proportional to the number of state secrets you broadcast. Strangely, NDTV India still languishes at the number 11 spot among Hindi news channels.
Weeding out all unpatriotic journalists and channels will also ensure uniformity of news. Like a conveyor belt of opinion delivered through loyal stenographers in the garb of journalists. India will be safe. A land free from terror and the termite of corruption.
And if enough journalists do not pass the patriotism test, I suggest ban most media for life and let social media feed us trustworthy, accurate information.
Before I close, with Rijiju’s permission, I want to ask one question to all those who display wonderful creativity to call NDTV as “raNDTV”. I’m just curious – do they speak the same language at home in front of their daughters and mothers?
NDTV पर 1 दिवसीय प्रतिबन्ध नाइंसाफी है, यह सजा बहुत कम है! देश की सुरक्षा से खिलवाड़ के लिए उन पर आजीवन प्रतिबन्ध लगाना चाहिए था (1/5)
— Dr. Subhash Chandra (@subhashchandra) November 6, 2016