Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tehelka Shows the Ugly Side of Indian Media.

Is Corrupt side of the Media getting Exposed?

Tehelka is just a tip of the Ice-Berg  is what said by many senior journalists. According to their reading, media today is no more medium of news and information but a commercial business that thrives on deals with corrupt and people in power. 

Tehelka is just a small example that got exposed but many other cases do not get reported, published and surface into public domain.
The senior most journalists from old school of thoughts think, present day media scene is corrupt to the core because it is owned by many rich and influential people with political power, who can manipulate and manage any situation with the help of media. Be it political, commercial, every issue can be managed by sponsored editorials and news.

This is an unfolding story about the corrupt media that speaks volumes on the Editorial takes that we keep watching in TV debates and bias news bites.

Investigative journalism and corrupt minds working in the media keep constantly claiming high moral positions is a myth. 

If not all, very few can claim to be clean, with high moral characters.

Shoma Choudhari and Tarun Tejpal are the classic examples of immoral characters working to expose others in the public space but when caught in the criminal act themselves,  the principles and moral values so far they were teaching others in the society, not even 1% of that is seen practiced in their personal and professional life?
Isn't that total cheating on people when media turns immoral and corrupt?
We all remember, Shoma Choudhari and Tarun Tejpal used to derive sadistic pleasure in exposing others in public life. When their sting operations were widely publicized on national channels continuously 24X7, Shoma Choudhari never thought, popular electronic media is not being fair with the victims Tehelka exposed?
Today, she is taking an opposite position when the crime is committed in her own back yard? Why these double standards? Isn't it total hypocrisy when she is getting the taste of her own medicine?
She says, media is not being fair with her? Today she says, I was personally trying to do justice to the girl who had to go through this traumatic experience in my office and I asked Tarun Tejpal to tender an apology immediately? She says, I got written apology from Tarun and that I thought satisfied the girl ?
So in other words, Shoma Choudhary was acting as a prosecutor, and jury too and passed the judgement on Tarun Tejpal to say sorry and step down for 6 months as a penance for whatever wrong done?

Excellent justice,  isn't it? But wait a minute... 

Did she ever pardoned her other accused caught on the camera in her sting operations? Or  those she exposed them on the national TV channels? To give them all another chance.

No she did not because she took high moral grounds then and told the world,... these are the criminals caught in the immoral and corrupt act on the camera and must be sent to gallows for cheating on the society.
But today, same Shoma Choudhary is not saying that to world about the crime committed in her own backyard. She is trying her best to cover-up.

And the worst is, she says to media... You all know only one side of the story but I know the other version of the story too? Which nobody knows? Only I know ? And this is where she tried to give a TWIST to her story by saying, It was all personal between two adults, but I  do not wish to get into that part of the story whether it was consensual or non-consensual.?

This twist by Shoma Choudhari was clearly trying to cast doubts about the girls character and Shoma kept making this claim in the media all the time which was disgusting comments and nothing but indirect character assassination of a girl. 

The other outrageous and damaging act  was by a very senior journalist and Editor-in-chief of Outlook Magazine Vinod Mehta.

He on Times Now debate in the News hour when asked his views about this episode, Vinod Mehta said on the national Channel, He received a SMS from Tarun Tejpal on his mobile. And he started  reading it out but, rightly so, when he was half way through reading the message  sent by Tejpal, Arnab Goswamy Stoped it simply because Vinod Mehta was intently trying to tell the world on national channel that the girl s character too is questionable according to his friend Tejpal? This was more disgusting act by a senior most journalists like Vinod Mehta.
Vinod Mehta was clearly trying to give clean chit to his friend Tejpal by reading out  SMS sent by Tejpal. This could be well planed move by influential editors.
Imagine, a very senior journalist, Editor-in-Chief  talks loosely something which has serious dimension to a criminal case which is being investigated?

Can you believe that? But Let me tell you, I am looking at his act differently. You may call it a cynical angle but anything is possible when powerful and influential people are involved.
Vinod Mehta is not a fool not to understand the seriousness of his revelation.  Vinod Mehrta was simply using his friend`s SMS to expose the victim`s character on the national channel and was trying to give his friend Tejpal clean chit. 

He was planting the same other version of the story that even Shoma Chaudhary has been trying to spread through media. It surely was planted and circulated to put a pressure on the girl and her family to give this message that fall in line or we will expose you too.

And Vinod Mehta was doing it to save their close friend, Terun Tejpal.
When the girl had said in her written complaint how it all happened and how she was even threatened about losing her job, Shoma was trying to act smart in her own defense knowing, this is backfiring on her.  Her Twitter comment that she wouldn't co-operate with Goa police, or  will not report to police herself was again a desperate last attempt to stop the whole issue getting blown up in her own face.

She was doing all this cover-ups as if nothing serious or big has happened has a third dimension too. And that is clearly trying to stop disgraceful fall of Tehelka as an organization as she knew it well, with this episode the flag ship is sinking now. 

She is not really trying  to save Tarun Tejpal or the Victim, she is  trying to simply secure Tehelka`s future. That she knows well, with this extensive media exposure on this issue, Tehelka has no future and its reputation is completely demolished.  

But that exposed Shoma Choudhary further and gave us a peep into what is happening in the media industry. How principled media personalities are and .Media owners are? 

We really do not know which TV channel, Which journalist, which human rights activists  are hired to target politicians like Mr Modi ? How can people like Vinod Mehta, Kumar Ketkar be trusted with their political views ?  Their leaning towards Congress in the debates can be seen from their comments and views.

And lastly, how can we take TV Channels at a face value when they have debates which can be politically set, or orchestrated for political considerations and monitory considerations ? 

Today, credibility of the media, journalists, Human rights Activists and political class has taken a beating and at its lowest. And at the bottom of it is... Corruption at all levels. 
The responsible citizens of this country must make an educated choice and demand change in the corrupt system. 

Only civil society can do it if civil society wants to CHANGE INDIA FOR BETTER. 

Ajay Angre
Author, Writer, Publisher