On May 5, Indian Express had carried a report titled ‘Now, a serial on PM’s community’ which stated that DD was to introduce a show called ‘Diye Jalte Hain’, a series on oil-pressers community, also known as Ghanchi community. PM Modi belongs to this community.
DD’s Additional DG wrote to Indian Express stating, “This is to bring to your notice that on the instructions of CEO, Prasar Bharati, the matter has been inquired. As per Doordarshan’s records, no such project is under consideration or has been approved by Doordarshan for any of its channel.”
The statement further said, “It is shocking that a reputed newspaper like Indian Express has gone with such a report without cross-checking the facts with Doordarshan. You may please note that Doordarshan traditionally does not grant approval for 128 episodes at one go and that too for a period of ten years continuously. The reporter has also not cared to check whether any approval letter has been issued by Doordarshan to the Producer or Director. Being a public service Broadcaster, Doordarshan is simply being taken for granted through this news story.
Indian Express being a newspaper of high repute and tradition requires to clarify in this regard by disclosing the authenticity of the news item and publish a regret note over the false news which has also been instrumental in instigating several small TV channels and portals to carry news stories and programmes without seeking any confirmation about the story from Doordarshan.”
Indian Express reporter later regretted the error and stated,” The report on the serial Diye Jalte Hain quoted its Maharashtra-based producer Suresh Chaudhari’s claim that Doordarshan had sanctioned 128 episodes in the first phase, that the serial was likely to run for about 10 years. He made this claim to The Indian Express after the muhurat of the serial which was attended, among others, by the Prime Minister’s brother, Somnathbhai Modi, at Pethapur, Gandhinagar on May 4.
The error is regretted.”
This clarification/correction can be found on Indian Express website.
However, A Surya Prakash, chairman of Prasar Bharati tweeted the apology was not enough and that the issue is being handed over to their lawyers.