An India Today editor, working for the group’s another outlet, DailyO, has sensationally alleged that she was sacked because of her tweet critical of ‘promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchor, editors, reporters and writers.’
Angshukanta Chakraborty, who worked as the political editor of DailyO, a platform that publishes opinion pieces, said that she was asked the India Today management to ‘delete the tweet, or resign or face termination by the HR team.’
Without naming India Today, Chakraborty, in her tweet, had said, “Promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchors, editors, reporters and writers, or hiring them in the first place, must be tried in courts as hate speech enablers-profiteers. Must be boycotted socially by secular politicians & Industrialists.”
Promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchors, editors, reporters and writers, or hiring them in the first place, must be tried in courts as hate speech enablers-profiteers. Must be boycotted socially by secular politicians & Industrialists.
— Angiography (@angshukanta) February 4, 2018
Janta Ka Reporter tried to elicit response from the group’s social media head, Prerna Kaul Mishra, for her reaction. We will update the story once we have her response.
Meanwhile, Chakraborty, was quoted by Scroll as saying, “I wrote this because this is what was happening in the media. It was not directed at any organisation or any individual. It was a generalised statement and I stand by it. It didn’t get many RTs or anything and it wasn’t even my pinned tweet… yet I got a call asking me to delete it because management was unhappy.”
India Today has had to face condemnation for fake news on several occasions in the recent past. Not so long ago, Janta Ka Reporter reported how one of its senior editor, Abhjit Majumder, had posted a fake news to inflame an already communally charged area of Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh. Majumder, a known supporter of the Hindutva ideology and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had tweeted about the death of an individual in Kasganj even though the person in question was alive and had never visited the communally sensitive Kasganj.
On Tuesday, Majumder had posted another communally charged fake tweet alleging that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had left the prayer meet for Ankit Saxena when the family demanded compensation of Rs 1 crore. Janta Ka Reporter had carried the full video from the prayer meet showing how it was a Hindutva leader and not Ankit’s family, who had demanded the compensation. Majumder was also wrong while alleging that Kejriwal government had only helped the Muslim victim with compensation money.
Last year, a video of another India Today journalist working for the group’s Aaj Tak channel, Sweta Singh, proudly talking about the nano chip in Rs 2,000 note had gone viral. It was first reported by Janta Ka Reporter before other media outlets had picked up the story.
More recently, another journalist working for India Today TV channel, Shiv Aroor, had posted a fake news while adding a communal angle to the murder of a youth in Karnataka. The news had caused communal flare-ups in Karnataka before the journalist deleted his tweet.
Another journalist, Rohit Sardana, who works in Aaj Tak, the flagship Hindi channel of India Today group, is known for posting pro-Hindutva tweets while criticising Muslims in India. Chakroborty’s sacking, therefore, will raise many questions on the perceived biases of India Today management while dealing with those staff who are critical of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
PS: The group HR head of India Today is Purva Misra, the daughter of Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi, after becoming the prime minister had changed the law to appoint Misra as his principal secretary.