Senior journalist Aniruddha Bahal, whose website recently exposed over a dozen of Indian media houses for agreeing to push the Hindutva agenda for a fee, has said that news broadcast on channels in India had now been ‘Hinduised.’
Although, Bahal, himself a known investigative journalist, made this comment at Janta Ka Reporter’s conclave late last year, the video has gone viral amidst fresh questions raiased on the ethics of Indian media.
Bahal said, “Media has an important role in delivering social justice in India.. In the current climate, there’s a Hinduisation of news on a lot of channels, which is very very dangerous. Earlier, the Hindi channels used to display this fervour, but now even English channels have also joined. You talk about dissent. I am saying that the very idea of dissent in this country is under threat.”
Other two journalists taking part in the session were the founder of Janta Ka Reporter, Rifat Jawaid, and former editor of The Statesman, Michael Flannery. Rifat recalled his experience of working with The Statesman in the late 90s, when he enjoyed a complete editorial freedom, even while writing a piece that challenged the verdict of Calcutta High Court justice, Justice Bhagwati, banning the use of loudspeakers for Azaan.
He recalled, “Today, I would have been facing a contempt notice if I were to write the same piece in the current atmosphere. But, both Mike (Michael Flannery) and the then editor-in-chief of the paper, CR Irani, who was known to be pro-BJP, supported me and carried that hard-hitting piece.”
You can watch the full session below: