News channel NDTV has slammed the RSS ideologue and Chennai journalist, S Gurumurthy, for allegedly ‘trading lies’ about using its website Pgurus.
The channel took an extraordinary step to carry its official statement on its website by strongly rubbishing allegations by Gurumurthy about the latter’s charges of financial irregularities in the NDTV.
The NDTV statement said, “NDTV, used to being falsely targeted by Gurumurthy who cares for neither facts nor common sense, would like to explain why we believe his website pgurus.com stands for “Post-Truth Gurus”.
“Mr Post-Truth Gurumurthy, your “journalism” and “exposés” could benefit immensely from this simple tenet: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts” (the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan).”
Gurumurthy, a known RSS ideologue identifies himself as a chartered accountant. Pgurus website describes him as part of the ‘trio- Ramnath Goenka, Arun Shourie and S Gurumurthy-‘ who had ‘redefined the sleepy Indian journalism’s investigative reporting culture.’
Pgurus description of Gurumurthy further adds, “And the reporting at last went against the mighty Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, shaking the Nehru family dynasty oriented Indian political landscape. There might be arguments about the Indian Express earthshaking reporting culture, but the fact was that it was a historic and golden moment in Indian journalism by the media in gaining courage to write against the ruling community.”
There are rumours that the original suggestion to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come from Gurumurthy.
The NDTV statement said that Gurumurthy did not operate alone ‘maligning’ the channel.
It said, “First, it was SK Srivastava, rogue Income Tax Commissioner, who attacked NDTV. It turns out he is accused of corruption and sexual harassment and was sentenced to jail by the Delhi High Court. There is the second rung of Subramanian Swamy, who keeps spinning fantastical tales of corruption in the hope that they will somehow stick (they won’t). And amplifying the untruths with his website of concocted, phoney and fake allegations is P-T-G and his website. The fourth member of this Gang of Four is Sanjay Dutt – who has been accused of criminal extortion.”
Pgurus had last week run a story on its website based on a letter by the BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Subramanian Swamy to PM Modi, demanding ‘stern action’ against the NDTV.
Here’s the full statement from the NDTV.
NDTV, used to being falsely targeted by Gurumurthy who cares for neither facts nor common sense, would like to explain why we believe his website pgurus.com stands for “Post-Truth Gurus”.
Mr Post-Truth Gurumurthy, your “journalism” and “exposés” could benefit immensely from this simple tenet: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts” (the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan).
Not one rupee has ever been siphoned from NDTV by anyone or its promoters, as you allege. Rigorous and regular audits conducted by top global firms establish this, the most recent of which were carried out every year and are published and circulated widely. In addition, NDTV has conducted forensic audits of the highest standards. These audits are part of our commitment to exemplary corporate governance, but of course their findings contradict your wild and groundless accusations. Too bad.
Mr. P-T Gurumurthy (P-T-G) knows NDTV’s records have been documented, audited and made public on every possible forum. Also P-T G knows – and, as a mark of his dishonesty, he never mentions – that the issue is with the Delhi High Court in a writ petition and stay has been granted. Let the law take its own course – but dishonest P-T-G clearly doesn’t believe in the laws of India.
P-T-G’s story – and it is clearly just a story – keeps changing. He alleged that P Chidambaram had paid NDTV Rs. 5,000 crore (or was it Rs. 5,500? The figures doled out by P-T-G kept changing). This lie was thrown out of court and a fine imposed (scroll down for details). Now he adds another lie about the promoters. Facts and numbers are not his strength. So a health warning: anyone reading pgurus.com beware, it is riddled and infested with post-truth dishonesty.
P-T-G does not operate alone, of course. First, it was SK Srivastava, rogue Income Tax Commissioner, who attacked NDTV. It turns out he is accused of corruption and sexual harassment and was sentenced to jail by the Delhi High Court. There is the second rung of Subramanian Swamy, who keeps spinning fantastical tales of corruption in the hope that they will somehow stick (they won’t). And amplifying the untruths with his website of concocted, phoney and fake allegations is P-T-G and his website. The fourth member of this Gang of Four is Sanjay Dutt – who has been accused of criminal extortion.
All four collaborate with one aim: to malign NDTV and its promoters. And they keep failing. For three years running (2014, 2015 and 2016), NDTV has been declared The Most Trusted Media Brand in the country (The Brand Trust Report, India Study).
The Gang of Four’s frustrated attempts leave them with no choice but to concoct even more outlandish and vicious rumors. And they do this in the desperate hope that it will help them. Watch out for a major exposé: not the kind that P-T-G scripts, but one based on facts and caught on tape. And we do plan to release it.
The PGURUS’ many post-truths:
1. CHIDAMBARAM PAID NDTV RS 5, 000 CRORES.
What is the evidence? None at all. Not a shred.
Has it been seen by a court of law? The case was heard and yes, it was thrown out. The case was based on the bogus allegation of SK Srivastava, one of the three we referred to above. The matter was heard by the CBI court of Mr. OP Saini. Not only was the case dismissed as being unsubstantiated, mischievous and malicious, but costs were imposed on Srivastava.
Does this stop pgurus or Subramanian Swamy from repeating this lie? No. This amounts to contempt of court.
2. THE 2ND PGURUS’ LIE IS THAT NBC AND GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) ILLEGALLY PAID NDTV $ 150 MILLION IN 2008 AND ACTED AS A “FRONT” IN “ROUND TRIPPING” AND THAT IT WAS A “SHAM TRANSACTION”.
Is there any evidence for this? None.
In fact, the CEO of General Electric recently met the Prime Minister of India and discussed investment in the country. According to pgurus, he is involved in criminal and jailable offenses. Would the PM meet with him as part of his initiative to bring foreign investment to India? Would NBC and General Electric, among the world’s largest firms, get involved with round-tripping money for NDTV or anyone else? The allegations by pgurus are absurd. What’s worse is they damage India’s reputation.
3. Based on the lie about NBC and GE – PGurus lies that therefore NDTV owes crores in tax.
NDTV has gone to court to prove it wrong. The case is being heard in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and stay has been granted. NDTV is confident of winning – because, once again, there are documents to prove all laws were complied with and all dues paid.
So why, then, are P-T-G, Swamy and their cohorts devoted to trading lies about NDTV? Because they resent media independence and freedom and the journalistic principles applied and exemplified every day in NDTV’s award-winning journalism. Try all you might P-T-G, NDTV is rock solid in its integrity – behind the scenes and on the screen.