A reply to Ravish Kumar’s open letter

Namaste Ravishji!

I would like to begin with an apology on behalf of whoever it was that abused your mother & sister. I don’t know who or what led that person to do so, but there is no excuse in the world that can justify this pathetic level of abuse. I only hope that person’s account was not “hacked” just as Rajdeep Sardesai, your colleague, claimed his account was “hacked“, when it was found that abusive messages, insulting mothers of “trolls” were sent from his account.

Now coming to your tirade about journalistic ethics and you questioning MJ Akbar’s ethics of joining Congress then coming back to journalism and then joining a party against which he had idealistic differences in the past. Your colleague at NDTV, Sonia Singh, did not leave and come back to journalism but instead continued to be a journalist, all the while being married to a Congress Minister. Another example could be of Nidhi Razdan and her alleged links with a Kashmiri politician. Or maybe we can talk about the founder of NDTV himself Prannoy Roy, who’s sister in law is from the Communist fold. Yes, two people can have two different political views, but the issue here is, unlike some other media houses like the Guardian, your NDTV makes no efforts to disclose these positions of conflict of interests to its viewers. No journalistic ethics are trampled here?

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You further say that there are people who have Narendra Modi & RSS symbols as their profile pics and call you a “hustler”, “pimp” & “presstitute” and what not. You say that Retired Gen VK Singh coined the term “Presstitute”. So before moving further let’s first clarify that this term was first coined by Gerald Celente, an American trend Forecaster & a Publisher of the Trends Journal way back in 2011. This term is also used by alternate media to describe corporate backed Main Stream Media who claim to be unbiased but tailor their content based on their commercial or political inclinations.

Moving on to conscience, you ask Akbar to probe his conscience, but does your conscience not hurt when you work with the most corrupt journalist in the country who has time and again been pulled up for flouting journalistic ethics?? Yes I am talking about Barkha Dutt.

You say your mother was hurt and could not sleep when she read about you being abused. Well, then let me tell you this, my sister since her early days in school wanted to become a journalist, she had very clear goal and focus towards it. But somewhere along the way she was shocked by the ugly side of Journalism where some of the top journalists were seen diverting news (Cash for Votes), seen & heard acting as a “Pimp” for corporate Lobbyists (Radia Tapes) and then there was that unethical reporting of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. She was disappointed and lost interest in the field.

You talk about the past government of BJP when you were treated very well offered tea & sweets. I am sure even today if you happen to visit Smriti Irani’s office she will do the same, because it is called culture and manners. Also if you have MMJ’s example, I can cite Kanshi Ram’s example who had publicly slapped Ashutosh your former colleague. By the way he too has joined a political party and if someone is to neutrally analyse his last 2 months as editor before officially joining AAP, you will realize why your breed of journalists are called “Presstitutes” or “Preshya”.

There are so many websites today where one can know the facts of any particular story. There are sites like OpIndia.com where every day so many stories of misreporting and agenda driven news reporting are exposed. In fact you and your channel have often featured here.

It is easy to point fingers at others for their mistakes and write letters and op-eds about it. But it takes real guts to look within and talk about it. Unfortunately for us, such journalists who can look within critically and call a spade a spade are negligible to extent of almost extinct.

You are not angry because you are being called various names, you and your breed is angry because today a common man does not take any of the news put out by you people as gospel truth. Today a common man has alternate mediums to verify the news in circulation. The growth of social media has killed the monopoly of information for your breed. Now information flows freely and directly to the common man which hurts your breed.

What else can be the reason that even today 14 years later when your breed talks about 2002, there is scant mention of Godhra Train Burning. There have been numerous reports and even an enquiry commission report of Godhra Train Burning being a pre-planned act but never has anyone from your breed accepted it. Also accordingly, the courts have rightly convicted the accused in the 2002 riots and have also given Narendra Modi a clean chit in as many cases but you just cannot accept that and continue to label him and look him through the prism of 2002.

Dear Ravish, it is not hatred towards you as an individual but your breed of journalists that attracts such adverse remarks and abuses. I would like quote Abhishek Bachchan’s character from the Movie Paa, “Haath mein mike, Saamne camera, Upar satellite, Dekhne wale karodon log, to aa gayi power?” It was this unrestricted and absolute control on the flow of information has made the current breed of journalists lose their mental balance and resort to obnoxious and downright lies under the garb of reporting.

So Dear Ravish, please tell when will this breed of journalists will finally go extinct so that a new breed of journalists can grow which is honest, unbiased in its truest form and unapologetic when reporting facts.

I hope you will introspect with an open mind and come back to us, to every common man of India, promising that the current breed of unethical and sold out journalists will be weeded out and only unbiased and true reporting will be done. Till such time that you cannot promise this, please stop writing open letters.

Nakul Swamy

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