Showing that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, the Rajasthan Patrika has waged a war against Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia. In a sharp editorial piece titled ‘This too is an Emergency’, the newspaper’s Editor-in-chief Gulab Kothari talks about how advertising to the group has been suspended. Kothari goes on to say that Rajasthan is under a totalitarian rule of the monarchy where the Freedom of Press and Right to Expression has been gagged. And this is only because Rajasthan Patrika has been exposing the looting, plundering, anarchy and corruption in the state.
“It’s surprising that in today’s Good Days – (Achche Din) they have been stopped without any prior intimation. Doesn’t it point to a bigger dictatorship than the Emergency?” questions Kothari.
Read the editorial piece here:
On Tuesday the Congress MP Kantilal Bhuria from Madhya Pradesh sought permission in the Lok Sabha to discuss the matter of withholding all advertisements by the Central and a few state governments to Rajasthan Patrika Group of publications. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan refused to give the permission. Upon denial of the discussion, the documents regarding the matter were tabled in the House. MP Bhuria said that attempts at controlling media were dangerous for democracy. Once the matter had been tabled the government should explain what did Rajasthan Patrika Group do for the matter to reach such extremes. At what instances have the respective governments sent letters of warning to Patrika Publications, what were the specific reasons and when did the Information and Broadcasting Ministry send out notification regarding banning the advertisements. The issue raised by Patrika should have also been taken up in the House. Without this, all the concerned governments will have to concede that they have absolutely no faith in democracy.
After the previous general elections everyone had hoped and believed that “Achche Din” (better days) were surely dawning. After the formation of the governments the chronology of events which followed created a very grim atmosphere against Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Vasundhra Raje, so much so that everyone thought they will be removed. In politics everyone’s feet are shaky. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has certainly made some kind of compromise with them but nonetheless the sword still is dangling above their heads. Our Chief Minister is sure today that BJP will not make her the CM again. Ergo she is busy securing the future of her next seven generations. She is saving the skin of every corrupt bureaucrat. In the past two and a half years many dubious middlemen of national and personal level have sprung up in the state. Some of these brokers are behind bars today. The government is busy with them and has forgotten its people. Today Supreme Court and High Court orders are treated like a laughing matter. The way anti-corruption agencies of the state are nabbing people daily, it appears that there is nothing else but looting, plundering and total anarchy and corruption here. When Rajasthan Patrika highlights these, then the government's ego is hurt. News is not fabricated, nor can we ever blackmail. The fact is, they don’t want us to publish anything against the government. It seems the totalitarian rule of the monarchy is back. Freedom of Press and Right to Expression is not available for Rajasthan Patrika today. But, yes, the governments have the liberty to misuse the power bestowed upon them by the people. The only hurdle in their path is Rajasthan Patrika which exposes all their misdeeds. Gagging it has become an extreme necessity. The government thinks it has a big weapon in its hand -stop giving all government advertisements to the newspaper. As if, this will change their destiny. People have actually started saying now that there has not been a more corrupt government in the state since Independence. Today whole Rajasthan is crying in agony. They may not open their mouth but today BJP ministers, Members of Parliament, MLAs , everyone is upset, because in the past two and a half years not a single programme has trickled down to the grassroots. Everyone is worried about their political future. Even the constituency of the CM is shedding tears but it has absolutely no effect on their activities. Nor is Delhi putting a stop to it. They are unable to buy Patrika nor has Patrika asked for any favours from them. This is sheer arrogance of power. Those who were approached every time when there was a crisis are now fired upon.
Patrika always upholds high values and works on its principles ; and it shall continue to work for the people. There is no blemish on it. This is not agreeable to the ego of the government. They want to keep every media institution under its thumb. It is BJP government at the Centre too where people are of same fraternity. With one phone call all the Central government’s DAVP advertisementshave been stopped. Readers may recall that during the dark days of Emergency Patrika was thought to be anti Congress and the then Information and Broadcasting Minister Vidyacharan Shukla made threatening calls to Patrika. Collectorate office did everything in its power to maintain the censorship but even in those dark days government advertisements were not denied to Patrika. It’s surprising that in today’s Good Days – (Achche Din) they have been stopped without any prior intimation. Doesn’t it point to a bigger dictatorship than the Emergency? Our esteemed CM always reiterates that she follows the footsteps of her late mother Vijaya Raje Scindia. She must be grieving in heaven to see her daughter take all sorts of wrong decisions under various pressures.
The Chief Minister’s blind love for her son is the hot topic of discussion in BJP. The CM wanted to see Dushyant Singh in the Central ministry but Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned it down outright. Now she has dreams to see him as the next CM of Rajasthan. She has to first understand whether she will be able to even win next elections from her constituency again. There is a lack of positive environment for BJP today. If the governance continues as of now then BJP’s days are surely numbered. It is a point to ponder whether the public will be kind to her son.
Angered by our news, the BJP governments, one after the other or rather in a planned systematic manner stopped all government advertisements to us. Chhattisgarh government targeted Patrika in the very beginning. Meanwhile we experienced “Good Days” in Madhya Pradesh. Though the advertisements did continue later but files didn’t move fast. Rajasthan has gone absolutely ballistic. It’s been almost eight months since they stopped advertisements to Rajasthan Patrika. One advertisement agency from Mumbai informed us that it had got a call from CM office to stop the advertisements. BJP MP from Rajasthan Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is Minister of State for I&B. What can’t be achieved through him? There is no hope that “Achche Din” (Good Days) will emerge while this government is in power. We shall continue our fight with the support and patronage of our loyal readers and survive these next two and half years by disposing of some property, if need be. But the question here is, will BJP retain power in the next election if the present atmosphere continues? Will Dushyant be the new CM? It is better that CM shouldn’t become Dhritrashtra in her love for her son and, instead, leave her ego aside and start caring for the people. Maybe then, God might listen to you.