Prasar Bharti, a central government body responsible for managing the affairs of India’s public broadcast Doordarshan, has suspended a senior DD executive after she allegedly blocked the live broadcast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Chennai on 30 September.
Modi was in Chennai on 30 September, where he took part in several events including the convocation ceremony at the IIT Madras. His speech made at the IIT Madras was not broadcast by DD Podhigai, which is the regional arm of the DD National.
Upset over DD Podhigai’s decision to not broadcast PM Modi’s speech, the PMO reportedly conveyed its displeasure to the senior management of Prasar Bharti, which in turn iniated disciplinary proceedings against R Vasumathi, an Assistant Director of Programme in Chennai.
A report by India Today said that the suspension order of Vasumathi did not state the reason, but it quoted sources as saying that she had been punished for willful insubordination.
Vasumathi had reportedly sent an email to her seniors before the event asking if Modi’s speech will be broadcast live. According to Prasar Bharti sources, an explicit message was conveyed to her to broadcast Modi’s speech live. “Now, therefore, the undersigned, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (1) of Rule 10 of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 hereby places the said Ms R Vasumathi under suspension with immediate effect,” the suspension order states.
The suspension order of Vasumathi also directed her to not leave Chennai without obtaining the previous permission of the Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati. The suspension order read, “It’s further ordered that during the period that this order shall remain in force the headquarters of Ms R Vasumathi, Assistant Director (Programme), Doordarshan Kendra Chennai, shall be Chennai and she shall not leave the headquarters without obtaining the previous permission of the undersigned.”