Sudhir Chaudhary, editor of ‘Zee News’ TV channel, received a threatening call from terrorists in Pakistan. The caller threatened to silence Chaudhary if he does not stop speaking against Pakistan. This is not the first time Zee News editors have received such threats. The channel has already received threats for exposing Pakistan’s terrorist activities. That’s why Hafiz Saeed, the Chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba, even angrily shouted against Zee News at a public event in Pakistan. Chaudhary’s ‘DNA’ programme on Zee News at 9 p.m. is popular all over India.
While the credibility of Indian journalism is deteriorating day-by-day, Chaudhary’s moderate journalism is apparent in the DNA programme. Zee News covered various topics such as ‘Terrorist organisations in Kashmir and the support they are getting from religious fanatics’, ‘Jihad called by religious fanatics against Hindus’, ‘Different types of jihad’, ‘Truth behind communal riots in India’. Most of the news channels in India work under the guise of so-called secularism and continue to criticise Hindu leaders, Hindu Dharma. In such a scenario, the work of Zee News, which sheds light on the atrocities being perpetrated on Hindus not only in India but also in Islamic countries, is commendable. At a time when uttering the words ‘Hindu’, ‘Hindutva’ or ‘Hindu Dharma’ was considered ‘fanaticism’, Zee News raised its voice against the problems faced by Hindus due to religious fanatics. In Zee News’ DNA programme, there is no shouting, no aggressiveness as is witnessed on other news channels. Chaudhary, who is the anchor, does not use gestures to convey his views or his statements loudly. Instead of drawing conclusions about an event, he presents the facts to the audience, and it is left to them to decide what is right or wrong. Therefore, people feel the difference in Sudhir Chaudhary’s journalism more than today’s journalism. The Government has to answer questions – ‘What action was taken against the concerned people when this news channel and its editors were receiving threats?’ Or ‘Why those who threaten such news channel are still moving around freely ?’ One thing is for sure – if the rhetoric of a news channel is tarnishing the image of terrorists in enemy countries, then it highlights the success of journalism. At a time when the fourth pillar of Democracy is being shaken, news coverage by TV channels such as Zee News is like a light at the end of the tunnel.
Being aggressive is against moderate journalism !
‘Whether the material being sold is of good quality or not, its packing should be attractive’ – this is considered an important aspect to make profit in this industry. This formula is also followed in professional journalism at present. The reprehensible practice of sensationalising any incident that is currently being aired is a practice on some news channels. The misconception that ‘aggressive’ predictions can make people digest any nonsense has created a hideous form of newscasters working in these news channels. There is nothing wrong in speaking out or writing aggressively against injustice; however, this aggressiveness needs to be controlled by the conscience. Without it, self-control is lost, leading to chaos. Similar chaos is seen on many news channels today. Principles, virtues and decency have already disappeared from journalism.
Swatantryaveer Savarkar, Lokmanya Tilak and others who practised journalism in the pre-Independence period were also aggressive. However, their aggressiveness had a knack for righteousness and decency. Therefore, their journalism did not go astray. All of them were self-conscious and hence, they were able to create awareness through journalism. Understand that it is very difficult to inspire or rejuvenate people only through pure words when there is a dire situation around and society is dormant. Yet all of them achieved their goals easily. Today’s situation is very good when compared with that in the pre-Independence times. But since today’s journalists are self-centred, all consistency is lost.
Traitorous journalism needs to be checked !
Journalist Rajiv Sharma was recently arrested in Delhi for spying for China, while Siddiqui Kappan, a journalist in Kerala, was arrested by the Police a few weeks ago under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Kappan’s website was used to provide direction to provoke riots in India, and it was funded by the terrorist organisation ‘Popular Front of India’. In fact, both these incidents should have been taken seriously and given a lot of publicity by all the news channels. Earlier journalism seemed to be corrupt or unethical; however, these incidents show that traitors have also infiltrated the field of journalism. It is the people in this field themselves who must come forward to stop this decline in journalism.
Currently, there are two groups in journalism. One is following nationalistic journalism, while the other is taking a direct anti-national stance. The threats to the editors of Zee News show that journalism in the national interests can turn fatal. Patriotic citizens need to stand firmly behind patriotic journalists and reassure them. It is the duty of the Government to protect them by providing them with security. This is the right time to undertake ‘Swachchata mission‘ to apprehend those indulging in anti-national journalism and put them behind bars.