Akhilesh Yadav was seen encouraging corruption during his press conference by telling journalists that writing positively about the Samajwadi Party (SP) would be ‘rewarded’. He even admitted to having ‘rewarded’ some of the journalists.
In the undated video, Yadav says “we have assured several journalists that if you are good in your work then you would be given up to fifty thousand rupees a month. But you would have to write good stories about Samajwadi Party. If you start writing today then you’ll earn quite a lot such that you might get honored. You might not know this but some of our journalist friends have already earned this honor”.
Earlier, Mamata Banerjee had made a similar appeal to journalists by asking them to do positive stories if they wanted advertisements from the Bengal government. When a local journalist Shukla Ganguly lamented that their organization was cash-strapped, Banerjee assured revenue in the form of advertisements if media toed the TMC line.
“The rural newspapers (Gramin Patrika), which will highlight the government’s work in a positive light, will get advertisement revenue. I will specifically direct the District Magistrate (DM) about this. This is because the government does not use State machinery each time for publicity”, OpIndia quotes the TMC chief as saying.
While secular politicians like Yadav have no qualms in journalists who favor them, the same lot also doesn’t bat an eyelid before threatening journalists who don’t fall in line. Not only do journalists considered anti-regime get beaten up by these so-called secular politicians but also those who stand up for their media colleagues have to bear the brunt.
Senior Journalist Ashok Shrivastav had pointed out how he had been threatened by Arun Rajbhar after he had published an article condemning the attack on a journalist by security personnel of Akhilesh Yadav.
Similarly, journalist Aman Chopra was threatened by Peace Party’s Shadab Chauhan for sharing Ashok Shrivastav’s tweet where the latter had shared a screenshot of Arun Rajbhar’s threat. “Journalist Aman Chopra was threatened with dire consequences by the chief spokesperson of Peace Party, Shadab Chauhan after he weighed in on the threat received by journalist Ashok Shrivastav from Arun Rajbhar, National General Secretary of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party(SBSP), an ally of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party”, noted OpIndia.
“The threat issued by opposition leaders have gone up a few notches and now they are openly threatening and saying dissenters won’t be spared. After #KishanBharvad their threat needs to be taken seriously. The difference is that earlier they used to plan secretly, now they openly talk about killing”, tweeted Aman Chopra.
Threats to media personnel by ‘secular’ politicians are nothing new and neither is the deafening silence of the media itself in condemning such acts only because they want to remain in the good books of these politicians. Akhilesh Yadav has a history of abusing journalists and getting away with the same as media fails to take ‘secular’ politicians to task even if one of their own is threatened and abused by them.
During the last UP Assembly elections, Yadav was seen crassly abusing an Aaj Tak journalist for merely asking some routine questions. Instead of standing up for their media colleague, senior journalists actually went easy on Akhilesh Yadav’s atrocious behavior and actually offered excuses for him!
Going by reliable sources on Twitter, the expletive hurled by Akhilesh (which AajTak anchor Anjana Om Kashyap said cannot be quoted on TV) was “गां** मैं बैंस घुसेड़ दूंगा” (I will stick a bamboo in your a**). It seems that Akhilesh has learned the language from senior ‘secular’ politician Mamta Banerjee who in 2014 had threatened BJP President Amit Shah with pechone baansh (bamboo up the backside) if he dared to visit West Bengal.
It goes without saying that if any BJP leader had used similar language, the media would have been all over him like a rash and blown his/her public image to smithereens. The sort of overt bias towards perceived ‘secular’ forces and corresponding hate for ‘communal’ Hinduvadis is nothing new for Bharatiya media. Incidentally, Javed Ansari who defended Yadav, during a 2013 India Today conclave had angrily asked then Gujarat CM Modi why he had never expressed ‘regret’ for the 2002 riots.
It is the duty of the journalists to bring the truth to the people rather than writing ‘positive stories’ in return for ‘rewards’. However, in view of the history of Bharatiya media to crawl when asked to bend by ‘secular’ politicians, it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise that a majority of them toe the line of the likes of Yadav, Banerjee, and others of their ilk.