- Zee News Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary whose heart beats for India tried to extort 100 crores from the Jindals, remember? No, no, please, kindly, take a few minutes to watch this, at least until 3.55.
- This is a photo comparing Chaudhary with that the whistleblower in the Vyapam scam, who exposed a long-running case of serious corruption by the state and political parties which has involved the murders of over 45 individuals! The current government is providing Chaudhary X category security while with this cycle-borne ‘security’ the Vyapam whistleblower has survived 14 attacks on his life.
3. These are not the only times Chaudhary has well, flirted with the law and with journalistic ethics. Back in 2007, when Chaudhary slandered a school headmistress apparently running a sex work racket – a story that turned out to be completely fabricated – his channel Janmat was shut down for a month, but resurfaced as Live India with the same journalistic er…standards. Chaudhury was never arrested, but a mob of 1000 beat up the school teacher following the story! Chaudhary has gone from strength to strength in the meanwhile, entering the safe fortress of Zee News eventually where he now he claims to be the anchor of the highest watched Hindi news show on primetime.
4. Chaudhary was also accused of forgery by the Delhi Police over allegations that he fabricated Comptroller and Auditor General documents for airing his story on Jindal. The case however was closed because the police were (mysteriously) not able to bring charges.
5. This proud nationalist now believes his job as a journalist is to instigate mobs as well as the judiciary and police against anti-nationals. He is helpfully recommending to the zealous state legal action against Professor Nivedita Menon – a middle class teacher and academic – with no links with political parties or big business, who has lived all her life standing by her words, paid her taxes and obeyed the law like any other ordinary citizen, and never said anything that is not already in the public or academic domain. Seriously, do you think this is the first time somebody has spoken about the military occupation of Kashmir or made a critique of Hinduism? Or is it that powerful international organisations like the UN and Amnesty AND the BJP’s alliance partner in Kashmir PDP are allowed to say it and we will look away but when an ordinary teacher points to it, we gleefully splash her face on TV and invite the state to arrest her? And now of course Double Sri Ravishankar has said Pakistan Zindabad at his mega event! As Aditya Sarkar has written on Kafila before, obviously it’s not the words, but the person who utters them that matters in this cowboy nationalism. Apni aukaat mein raho!!
Menon – a teacher and inspiration for thousands of students who have gone on to shining careers, and an internationally renowned academic and scholar, and Chaudhary – an accused in multiple scams, whose political and financial connections are at best, shadowy. Yet it is Chaudhary who has reason to be confident that the judiciary and police will not prosecute him for his vicious campaign against an individual, since that is exactly what they have done so far. By the way, on a lighter vein – when Chaudhary and his co-accused Samir Ahluwalia went to jail briefly – his friends, family and some Zee staff held a march to Jantar Mantar where some of them said that the Delhi Police deliberately invoked Section 384 (when a person allegedly commits extortion) when it could have registered a case under section 385 (attempt of extortion) as the complaint made by Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL) was that an attempt of extortion was made by the journalists. Oh yeah, that makes it a lot better – attempt at extorting 100 crores, but when it fails, complain bitterly about police high handedness. On an even funnier note, his friends and family were demanding ‘freedom of the press’. Freedom to make money while the media sun shines I guess. In the meanwhile, in late 2014, Samir Ahluwalia was elevated to CEO of all ten channels owned by Zee, as well as DNA Newspaper and all online portals! I suppose his salary and perks must have been revised accordingly. It’s too bad an ordinary teacher doesn’t have 100 crores, because if she did, as Sudhir and Samir promise to Jindal representatives in the video, the coverage of her anti-national activities on Zee News may have ended, albeit subtly so that no suspicion was raised among viewers.
Slander, libel, extortion, fake stings, falsification and forgery; and violation of privacy – do anything, as long as you place your hand on your heart and swear by the territorial integrity of India. It’s now axiomatic that the smaller the crime the more vulnerable you are in India, and the larger the crime, the better your chances of freedom. Vijay Mallya will be protected by the entire spectrum of the political class while a small time thief will be thrashed with impunity for police and public involved.
In such a scenario, ordinary activities, like teaching, learning and thinking freely will obviously come across as strange and dangerous. There is much that the establishment has to lose if the government’s monopoly on thought and nationalism is weakened. The tragic question is, why do people want this monopoly? Why do they agree to be ruled, and suspend all justice and humanity in the name of the nation? This is B.R Ambedkar on the patriotism he witnessed before Partition,
“India is a peculiar country and her nationalists and patriots are a peculiar people. A patriot and a nationalist is one who sees with open eyes his fellowmen being treated as less than men. But his humanity doesn’t rise in protest. He knows that men and women for no cause are denied their human rights. But it does not prick his civic sense to helpful action. He finds a whole class of people shut out from public employment. But it does not rouse his sense of justice and fairplay. Hundreds of evil practices that injure man and society are perceived by him. But they do not sicken him to disgust. The patriot’s one cry is power and more power for him and his class. I am glad I do not belong to that class of patriots. I belong to class that takes its stand on democracy and which seeks to destroy monopoly in every shape and form.”