Cacophony is better than silence. It is time, my friends in the media, to speak up. What can only be described as a Black Day for our democracy can hit home for any of you tomorrow. In our democracy, the rule of law prevails supreme—and it applies just as much to media professionals and journalists. And so, for all of us in the media and in the country, waking up to the disturbing visuals of Arnab Goswami being dragged and manhandled as he was arrested should have come as a rude shock. The sight of him being manhandled the way he was in full view of cameras left me upset and in shudders.
Even as the controversy over TRP and the fight amongst news channels and media organisations has gone on unabated over the last eight weeks, we have consciously sought to, and maintained, a factual and balanced stance. We have followed our belief of doing the right thing for the right reason in the right manner.
However, what happened today is scary. We may not agree on the approach, but if this could happen to Arnab in Mumbai, what stops it from happening to a media owner in NOIDA or to an editor, journalist or any other media professional in any part of the country.
There cannot be a worse precedent.
I called a very balanced CEO of a respected media company and someone I call a friend, and he told me I should not write this column. He told me that they have arrested him in an old case of abetment of suicide. Let me say to my friend, and all of you, that what happened today, and the old case, should not be trivialised and it should be treated on merits. It was an old case that was closed and the public will believe that this was reopened for reasons other than obvious and normal.
Let me quote the temple of democracy, our highest court Supreme Court, from October 2, 2020.
“In order to prove mens rea, there has to be something on record to establish or show that the appellant herein had a guilty mind and in furtherance of that state of mind, abetted the suicide of the deceased.”
The manhandling of Arnab and subsequent arrest is a very bad example of the worst kind of police excesses and absolute misuse of state machinery and power. And it is our duty as media professionals to raise our voice against it whether we like a certain kind of journalism or not.
As says Voltaire, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.”
I am reminded of this today. I would stand up for any professional, journalist, media owner irrespective of whether I agree with their editorial stand.
If a prominent media personality like Arnab can be subjected to this kind of brutality and abuse of state power, we must as media stand up for that.
Staying silent is not an option for me or us, nor should be an option for any of you.
There are various investigations in progress against other prominent media owners. One shudders to imagine whether this could happen to them in future. They should all support Arnab so that the Indian media’s spine is not broken.
The defenders of democracy and enforcers of rule of law have shown themselves in the poorest light.
We, Indian media professionals, may believe in diverse viewpoints and or ideologies, but this is the time to unilaterally condemn what has been done today and help Arnab in being safe and getting justice.
I am reminded today of this thought Mahatma Gandhi said many decades ago.
Dr Annurag Batra is a serial entrepreneur and a mentor to many successful entrepreneurs. He is the founder of the exchange4media group and the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of BW Businessworld group.
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CBI arrests TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in cattle smuggling case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal on Thursday. In the connection with the cattle smuggling case, Mondal has been arrested. Anubrata Monda is known to be a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the TMC leader Mondal is now being taken for a medical examination. A team of CBI arrived at Mondal’s residence in Bolpur.
Earlier on 5 August, the Central Bureau of Investigation sent a notice to Mondal for interrogation in connection with a cattle smuggling case.
Moreover, on 8 August CBI asked Mondal to appear in the CBI office at Nizam’s Palace in Kolkata.
However, in connection with illegal cattle smuggling across the Indo-Bangladesh a former Border Security Force (BSF) was arrested on 1 September 2020. During the investigation, Anubrata Mondal’s name came under the scanner.
Comedian Raju Srivastava on Ventilator support after suffering heart attack
Comedian Raju Srivastava on Wednesday suffered from a heart attack after which he underwent angioplasty and now is on ventilator support.
According to sources Raju is “responding to the treatment”.
Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated on Tuesday night after which he suffered from a heart attack.
Reportedly, Srivastava fell unconscious when he was working out on a treadmill at the gym. Later he felt severe chest pain and then collapsed after which his trainer brought him to the hospital.
Earlier on Wednesday, Comedian Sunil Pal said that Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.
Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.
However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Big Boss. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pardesh Film Division Board.
PM Narendra Modi extends greetings on occasion of Raksha Bandhan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday extended greetings on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
Taking to Twitter PM Modi said, “Greetings to everyone on the special occasion of Raksha Bandhan.”
Earlier, PM Modi’s Pakistani sister, Qamar Mohsin Shaikh, sent the sacred thread, Rakhi, to PM Modi. Sheikh also wished her luck for the 2024 general elections.
“I hope he (PM Modi) will call me Delhi this time. I have done all the preparations. I made this rakhi by myself by using a Reshmi ribbon with embroidery design,” Shaikh said.
Moreover, Shaikh also wrote the letter and prayed for PM Modi’s long and healthy life.
Talking about the 2024 elections, Shaikh said, “There is no doubt he will be the PM again. He deserves this because he has those capabilities, and I wish him to be PM of India every time.”
Moreover, in 2021, PM Modi’s sister Shaikh sent a rakhi and a Raksha Bandhan card.
Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also extended greetings to the people of the country.
“Warm wishes to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan,” Shah tweeted.
Earlier on Wednesday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami tied rakhi from a large number of women.
Women tied rakhi to CM Dhami at his residence and Chief Sevak Sadan auditorium and wished him a long life.
“The festival of Rakhi is a symbol of the sacred relationship of brother and sister. The festival communicates zeal and enthusiasm in life along with mutual brotherhood. Festivals are our identity. Festivals play an important role in maintaining the ancient culture,” Dhami said.
However, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of the Savan month. It marks the bond of love between the siblings and this year it will be celebrated on August 11.
J&K: Terrorist attacks on army camp; 3 soldiers martyred, 2 terrorists killed
Militants attacked Rajouri military camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday in which three soldiers were martyred and two terrorists were killed.
Meanwhile, ADGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh confirmed the terror attack on the army camp. He said that there is an army camp in the Pargal area of the Darhal sector adjoining the LoC. As soon as they entered the area, the terrorists attacked late Wednesday night, in which two jawans were also injured.
According to ADGP Pargal is 25 km away from the Rajouri district. Taking advantage of the darkness of night, the terrorists started firing indiscriminately at the soldiers. Five jawans were seriously injured in the attack, they were taken to the hospital. Doctors declared three jawans brought dead and two injured jawans are admitted to the hospital.
Moreover, security forces said that the terrorists have launched an attack and there may be more terrorists in the area. Due to this, SOG and Army personnel have started a search operation around the military camp. Alert has been declared in all areas around the LoC. Security forces have also intensified patrolling.
However, on Wednesday there was an encounter between terrorists and security forces in Budgam. In the last 24 hours, this is the second encounter in the valley. Security forces had killed all three terrorists during an encounter in Budgam. TRF commander Latif Rather was also among the slain terrorists. The other two terrorists are said to be Pakistanis.
According to ADGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar, Latif and his two accomplices were entrusted with the responsibility of target killing in Kashmir by their masters. Latif Rather was the mastermind of the murder of Kashmiri Hindu Rahul Bhatt, besides TV actor Amrin Butt and female teacher Rajni Bala.
CONGRESS, LEFT LEADERS CONVERGE FOR RJD MEET
CPI ML, Congress, and Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders arrived at the residence of Rabri Devi, wife of party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Patna on Tuesday.
The meeting of the RJD convened by its leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, the son of Lalu Yadav also saw leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and leaders of Congress who are part of Mahagathbandhan or the grand Opposition alliance in the state, according to Ajit Sharma, Congress Bihar legislature party leader.
The RJD leaders arriving for the meeting were asked to hand over their mobile phones ahead of the meeting
NITISH’S DECISION A GOOD START: AKHILESH
As Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar ended the alliance with BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday termed the move as a “good start” towards taking a stand against BJP by political parties and people.
While talking to mediapersons in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, Yadav said, “It’s a good start. On this day, the slogan of ‘Angrezo Bharat Chhodo’ was given and today the slogan of ‘BJP Bhagaon’ is coming from Bihar. I think soon, political parties and people in different states will stand against BJP.”
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