PS officer Vijay Shankar Singh writes letter requesting Mukesh Ambani: Retired IPS officer Vijay Shankar Singh has written a letter requesting Mukesh Ambani to stop the hatred being served by his channel News18. Sharing a copy of the letter on his Twitter handle, he wrote, “This open letter is to the owner of News18, Mukesh Ambani. If a survey of the programs of the channel owned by him for the last 8 years is done, you will find that one of the objectives of this channel is to run a communal agenda in the country and also to do such mental adaptation which will lead the country towards the divisive agenda.”
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In his subsequent tweet, the former IPS oficer wrote, “This blasphemous attempt to lead India to a segmented India, is being served in the form of new headlines, debates and Goebbels news with a resolution of ‘either aar or par’. The problem with the channel is that its well-received anchors are themselves adopting a patriot’s superlative degree certificate.”
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Giving an example of how the spreading business of hatred has affected News18 itself, he said, “The effect of such journalism has been tasted by a big journalist of the channel itself, but he is also a salaried employee, so can’t blame him, but yes, he, his wife and his son will have thousands of beautiful dreams about him, I have full sympathy with him.”
He further writes, “I don’t know whether Mukesh Ambani Ji ever watches his news channel or not, but I would request him that, he must definitely watch some programs of this channel and also get acquainted with what those news channels are serving. Every TV channel has its own rules and regulations. They can be in favor of the government as well as against the government. Whatever their equation with the government, no one has and should not have any objection to this, but when it becomes the objective to conduct divisive debates on the basis of religion in the country against the basic objectives of the constitution, then it becomes necessary that This matter should be conveyed to the owner of the news channel.”
Elaborating on the letter, he said, “This letter is in relation to the increasing communal turmoil in the country and a threatening response received by Mr. Saurabh Sharma, a journalist of News18, a popular news outlet of Network18 Media and Investment Ltd. Channel, which is also part of an Indian media conglomerate owned by you.”
The retired IPS officer in his letter to Ambani, “You are probably aware of the most trending news at present, in which an incident happened in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in which some people publicly thrashed Saurabh Sharma(a journalist at News18), his wife and son. They had also threatened to tear his wife’s clothes, as Saurabh Sharma had suggested to slow down the loudspeaker at a Jagrata organized in his society in Noida. He was then called “anti-national” and “Pakistani” by some Hindu organizations.”
On this occasion, he mentioned the disregard of the Constitution of India and journalistic ethics by the channel itself. He said, “In the Constitution of India, the press has the right to freedom of speech, writing and reporting, but this right is also accompanied by a serious responsibility, which has been almost ignored in the present era of news reporting. Journalists also have a special responsibility towards their country to promote communal peace and harmony, as per the norms of Journalistic Conduct Edition 2020 published by the Press Council of India. Therefore, it is extremely important that news channels bring their news to the masses with care and restraint.”
In this context, he also pointed to some incidents. He pointed out, “The role of the media in the recent alarming situations of communal disharmony, especially the incidents on the occasion of ‘Ram Navami’ 2022, with the aim of maintaining peace and law and order, should have been positive and not provocative. But the recent trend of News18 broadcasting is contrary to this ethical and set fundamentals of journalism. Unfortunately, the spirit of brotherhood is rarely seen in their reporting and News18 in its own special way has run a never-ending propaganda of relentlessly targeting a particular community and being anti-national against them.”
At the end of the letter, he said “It cannot be denied that in maintaining social harmony in the country, tomorrow when the history of the country is written, this role of the media will also be assessed. Therefore, maintaining communal harmony is also a major duty of the media. News channels should refrain from sensationalist, provocative and dangerous headlines while reporting communal disputes/clashes as per norms of Journalistic Conduct, 2020.”
“It is a matter of great pain that, today we are being served news on a deliberately divisive agenda, with more publicity and less news. We have reached a point today where a senior journalist of your own media channel was thrashed by goons from that community which is claimed to be regularly victimized by the community targeted by your news channel”, he added.
In this connection, he also mentioned some incident related to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Journalistic ethics does not permit lewd and inflammatory derogatory attacks on any community or communities and individuals. But a particular religious community of our country has been repeatedly targeted by News18 for the past few years and referred to as an anti-national society”, the ex-IPS officer concluded.