Press Club of India organized a meeting to lodge a protest against the government for the raid by CBI on NDTV promoters; by arranging this event, it expressed the solidarity for the NDTV. With so much of chaos definitely, the said raid has been labeled as the attack on ‘Freedom of Press'.
Many well-known faces from journalism and others fields were spotted in the event. It must be remembered that the media faction has already been split over the NDTV issue since beginning. Among two divisions, the group or rather lobby which isn’t very comfortable since Modi Govt’s formation, mainly for the good reason of unfavorable environment established to follow their agenda, remained part of the event. So the list of attendees includes the names which very much anticipated and quite obvious, Rajdeep Sardesai, HK Dua, Fali Nariman, Aroon Purie, Kuldip Nayar, Raj Chengappa, Arun Shourie, etc.
By and large, the narrative created out of the above personalities was same rhetoric and kept repeating the same thing as the attack on freedom of the press, and nothing new. Perhaps, the apprehension of some of these media barons was that if tomorrow we will be in the same situation so how we could be rescued (kal kahi hamari bari na aa jaye) made them present thereafter all such lobbying are to save their own interest rather than of press.
Finally, Prannoy Roy was to be heard after the raid, was to remain the center of attention. Interestingly, in his opening remarks only he rolls the dice by saying that the event is not only for NDTV. Then to get the solidarity from his camaraderie, he asserted that in India freedom of the press is in danger; and the present govt wants to kill our this convention of the free press. By this, he wanted to inject the fear in media community; and by being such fear monger, he tried to conceal the real accusations. In addition to this, in this statement, he indirectly compared the current NDA regime with previous UPA, and praised the later too.
In his address, he made the significant statement that “If You Crawl, They Will Come For You, So Stand Up”. The message is very imperative to interpret that he wanted the whole media to fight against the present Govt; furthermore, by giving such directions, he was trying to put the arm on the shoulder of the press, and fight the political battle. In essence, he attempted to intellectually incite the media community against the Govt for his individual’s interest to save.
There are multiple things to note here; first is, he didn’t address any charges which have been slapped against him; neither he presented any pieces of evidence in his speech, nor he gave any logical arguments to counter. He cried victim by showing him as a part of the press and portraying the raid, as an attack on the press. Thus, he used an Indian press as a shield to defend himself from the severe allegations and get away with them.
It’s also important to notice that how such big media barons possess dominance of the press bodies like Press Club of India. The another name of such body is editors guild of India which didn’t miss this time also to give the defense of the NDTV fraud. On another side, the so-called regulatory body has never ever taken any cognizance over the frequent violation of the norms by such media houses; be it coverage of Pathankot attack or be it coverage of Mumbai attack, etc. These bodies are only acting as pawns of such giant media houses. Moreover, their approach has been very selective and biased, which can be claimed by witnessing their silence over the recent matters related to Zee News and Republic TV.