Columnist Rajeev Mantri was recently served a legal notice by NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain for sharing 3 Tweets in 2017 that discussed the conduct of Jain’s father, India’s former ambassador to South Africa and his subsequent recalling.
Last week Mantri had shared on Twitter that he had received a legal notice from Sreenivasan Jain and another person named Gopal Jain for sharing those three Tweets, alleging that Mantri had defamed Jain’s father, the former ambassador LC Jain.
Rajeev had expressed shock over how Jain can threaten to sue him over a Tweet that merely observed some points from a newspaper article written by senior journalist KP Nayar. He had further shared that he is exploring legal options on how to proceed and had wondered how a powerful and vocal Journalist like Sreenivasan Jain is trying to gag a common citizen.
Today, however, Mantri has shared a Tweet declaring that he apologises for his remarks about LC Jain and he has deleted his Tweets criticising his actions.
I sincerely apologize for the remarks made by me about late Shri LC Jain and have deleted the tweets.
— Rajeev Mantri (@RMantri) August 11, 2018
Sreenivasan Jain’s legal threat to Mantri was criticised by many and now Mantri’s deleted Tweet is also raising concerns on how powerful journalists like Jain, who are all vocal about freedom of expression and ‘speaking truth to power’ easily take offence when questions were raised on people related to them.
Sadly, Mantri’s apology is not a stray incident. Journalist Barkha Dutt had in the past hounded and destroyed the career of a young journalist Chaitanya Kunte who had dared to question her.
Mantri’s Tweets had shared an article from Telegraph India, which discussed how former ambassador to South Africa LC Jain was recalled by the Vajpayee government after his actions reportedly hampered India’s image at an international level. After the Pokhran nuclear tests, South Africa wanted to use the NAM to take a stand against India’s nuclear power status and LC Jain had reportedly helped South Africa against India.