An interview with PM Narendra Modi which marked the beginning of the election year was as anticipated, not received well by his opponents. The so-called pseudo-journalists and intellectuals, including the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who have, on indefinite occasions divulged in concerns over ‘freedom of the press’ were the ones to get most flustered as PM Modi spoke at length answering the questions in his interview with ANI Editor Smita Prakash.
Rahul was thrown off balance as the interviewer asked rational questions instead of projecting ‘Modi hate’, which cynics like him expect everyone under the blue sky to indulge in.
Gandhi in the Parliament on Wednesday called the interview a ‘fixed match’. Outside the house, while speaking at the AICC headquarters, he went on to refer the ANI editor as a ‘pliable journalist’, stimulating others who have also been targeted by the Congress in the past.
The Zee News editor,-in-chief, Sudhir Chaudhary, used this opportunity to point out how this kind of unnecessary provocation to the media, who do not adhere to their way of journalism, is habitual with the Congress. Sudhir shared a letter he wrote to Rahul Gandhi in October 2018, on Twitter, asking him to refrain from targeting and tarnishing those who aren’t pliant.
It’s no surprise that the Congress chief is targeting a journalist.Their approach has always been – my way or the highway. They target & 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 pic.twitter.com/gkQaLEthBB
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) January 3, 2019
Sudhir Chaudhary, in his Tweet, lambasted at the Congress President saying that targeting journalists is something which is not new for Gandhi and his party. In October, last year, Zee News had protested against the blatant attacks made at them by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sudhir had then written to the Congress President, pointing out this behavior, as well as beseeching him to prevent it from happening again. “It’s no surprise that the Congress chief is targeting a journalist. Their approach has always been – my way or the highway. They target & tarnish those who aren’t pliant”, Sudhir Tweeted on Thursday.
In his letter, which he claimed, was never replied to by the Congress prince, he flayed the Congress’ “hit and run approach”, which he said was “unacceptable” and “certainly unsustainable”.
He castigated the Congress for calling them a “mouthpiece” and firmly asked the party’s spokesperson to refrain from “routinely indulging in a baseless commentary in self-defense”.
Surprisingly, the Editors Guild had also issued a statement noting concern over words used by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his criticism of ANI editor-in-chief Smita Prakash. Though the statement was seen as a monkey-balancing act, the objections and criticism by many media personalities coming in just after Rahul’s unrefined remark may serve as a reminder to the party head who otherwise tries to pretend to be a believer in ‘freedom of expression’, patronising with the ‘freedom of the press’.