Complaint to the News Broadcasters Association
June 21, 2017
S. P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Pachai Tamizhagam Katchi (Green Tamil Nadu Party)
News Broadcasters Association
C-56/5, 2nd Floor, Sector 62
Noida 201 301
Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.
On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.
On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors” was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.
I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds. So I said she could not donate money from abroad but her parents could do it here in India if she sent the money to them. I also mentioned clearly that I would give proper receipt and the money will be accounted for. I also informed her that we were not interested in getting foreign funds.
Mr. Arnab Goswami and his team telecasted this as a so-called “sting operation” on me at 2 pm on June 20, 2017 in their Republic TV and alleged that our struggle against the Koodankulm nuclear power project was funded by the Church with foreign donations. I took part in the very same panel discussion on Republic TV and clarified what had transpired. But Mr. Goswami was so abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive.
As I was taking part in their discussion from Kumbakonam town where I was attending an agitation, Republic TV reporter Sanjeev and three other men were standing in front of my home at Nagercoil from 2 pm till 11 pm that night harassing my parents aged 85 and 82 respectively, my wife and school-going son.
Sanjeev and his team were insisting on my family’s responding to their so-called sting operation. Even after my family told him that I was out of town, Sanjeev and his colleagues were hounding my family with their high-handed behavior. They were loitering about my house for hours together, talking to people and shopkeepers around my home and defaming me and my family.
Sanjeev and his team showed up at my home again in the morning of June 21, 2017 and started harassing my family all over again. When my aged father objected to his ruthless behavior, he fraudulently reported on his TV that I personally had scolded him. I came to know about the whole incident when I came home in the evening. Sanjeev’s and his gang’s sole intention was to provoke me in some manner and to make further news for their anti-social Republic TV.
Arnab Goswami has been talking non-stop about me and defaming me on his TV channel for the past three days. All this is causing so much mental agony and suffering for me and my family. This kind of vindictive and vituperative attitude and behaviour of Arnab Goswami and his team is unacceptable in a decent democratic society.
As a result of Arnab Goswami’s slanderous campaign against me, my family and I fear for our safety and security. I hold Arnab Goswami, Shweta Kothari, Sanjeev and Hariharan (another Goswami-type anchor of Republic TV) solely responsible for any untoward incident that may happen to me.
In a desperate attempt to raise the TRP rate, the discredited Republic TV has been telecasting slanderous reports about me and spreading canards through social media.
This kind of indecent and abusive behavior of an anchor and reporters is unacceptable in a democracy. The Republic TV and their reporters are crossing all limits and causing so much mental agony and suffering to me and my entire family.
In the light of the above situation, may I request you to do the needful to stop this anti-people TV from hurting me and more people in future, please.
Looking forward to your immediate and favorable intervention, I send you my best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.
S. P. Udayakumar
(The author is the coordinator for People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. Views expressed here are the author’s own. The post above first appeared on SP Udaykumaran’s Facebook page)