Zee News' Sudhir Chaudhary responds to Rahul Gandhi's "pliable journalist" remark

Rahul Gandhi was addressing a press conference where he spoke of some of the issues addressed by Prime Minister Modi in his New Year's Eve interview with Prakash

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 11:42 AM
SudhirChaudhary

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary has responded to Congress President, Rahul Gandhi's following his remark against ANI Editor Smita Prakash, calling her a “pliable journalist”, after her interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to news reports.

Gandhi drew strong criticism for his remark from within the media fraternity, including from Chaudhary, who said the Congress President has always adopted a 'my way or highway attitude' towards journalists and journalism.

Rahul Gandhi was addressing a press conference where he spoke of some of the issues addressed by Prime Minister Modi in his New Year's Eve interview with Prakash. Gandhi said the interview was conducted by a “pliable journalist”.

Sudhir Chaudhary, Zee News Editor-in-Chief tweeted, “It’s no surprise that the Congress chief is targeting a journalist. Their approach has always been - my way or the highway. They target and tarnish those who aren’t pliant. Sharing a letter I wrote to Mr. Gandhi in Oct’18 urging him to refrain from the same. Response - stony silence.”

 

On Saturday, Chaudhary also shared a letter he wrote to Rahul Gandhi, requesting the Congress President and his party to refrain from maligning the national channel.

Here is a copy of the full letter:

Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi, 

Zee Media needs no introduction, but we would still like to offer one. Its a media conglomerate that represents, cherishes and fosters the values of 'Bharat'. The 'Bharat' we refer to is not India (comprising of the rich/elitist/pseudo liberalists) but the Bharat which is thousands of years old, steeped in values, culture and tradition, which includes its people cutting across Religion, Caste, Creed, Color, Gender and Regions. 

This encompasses the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - The World is One Family, of Hindutva (not the Hindu religion but the Hindu way of life), of वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड परायी जाणे रे, of community and pride in one's roots and culture. This is our identity. This is what we've always stood for, no matter who is in government and what our ideological principles cost us.

We write to you because your party seems to have mistaken this with the political identity of your rivals. Let me say, Sir, that endorsing 'Bharat' doesn't amount to being beholden to a political ideology. It is unfortunate that the limited perspective of some individuals cannot distinguish between the two. Nobody can/should appropriate the idea of Bharatiyata. It belongs to all, equally.

We take serious exception to the fact that your party spokespersons routinely brand the Zee network as pro-BJP to wriggle out of difficult arguments. This is a 'hit and run' approach, which is unfair and hence unacceptable to us and certainly unsustainable, politically. We are nobody's mouthpiece and we refuse to be called so. We also believe in the principles of democratic protest, which is why we are writing to you. This is to politely yet firmly register our protest your party and its spokespersons for routinely indulging in baseless commentary in self-defense.

We speak for no one but this nation. We believe nationalism is a virtue and not a political tag which, unfortunately, your party has failed to realise. Your patty's interests would be better served if you advise your party spokespersons to fortify their arguments on TV debates with facts, rather than questioning the credibility of the journalist or the channel.

We encourage diverse opinions on our platform and would be happy to host your spokespersons in the future. Wish you the very best for the electoral challenges ahead.

Sincerely,

1. Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor, Zee News, Business, WION

2. Purushottam Vaishnava, Editor, Hindustan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kalinga, 24 Ghanta, Salaam, Rajasthan

3. Dinesh Sharma, Editor, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal

4. Dilip Tiwari, MP Chhattisgarh, UP, Uttarkhand

5. Vijay Kuvalekar, Editor, 24 Taas, 24 Talak

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