Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday, expressing his anger against electronic media, asserted that the Karnataka government was planning to introduce laws to restrain the electronic media.
Speaking at a book launch, organised by the Mysuru Zilla Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Kumaraswamy said that he had stopped speaking to media for the last month because of “irresponsible reporting”.
While speaking for over half an hour after releasing two books- Samudaya Nayakaru and Samajamukhi Sri Samanyaru, authored by senior journalist Amshi Prasanna Kumar at Kalamandira in Mysuru, the Minister reserved most of his time venting out his anger at the electronic media, meanwhile, displaying a soft corner for print media for still following the precedent set by the ‘seniors’ in the realm.
Referring to the programmes based on political developments over the last three months, Kumaraswamy asked the television channels: “Are we here for free? What do you know about politics? Just to keep your TRP ratings high, why are you hounding us with unfounded facts and news ?” “Media also has a role to play in the development of society and focus on farmers and agrarian crises,” he added.
Kumaraswamy said, adding, “I have always had cordial relations with the media, but now, because of irresponsible reporting, especially about politicians who they treat like jokers, I don’t bother to address the media as much as I used to.”
He went on to say, “If the chief of a television channel does not have a good enough story, let him close the channel and go home instead of airing false reports and having discussions according to their whims and fancies. This sort of thing is of no use to society or the public. Electronic media earlier had ethics, but now, not many adhere to ethics. They should realise that I have not survived because of favourable reporting, but because of the faith of 6.6 crore people of this state.”
Continuing his tongue-lashing against electronic media alleging irresponsible reporting, the Karnataka CM said that the news being aired on TV channels were far from reality. Citing the example of his arrival in the city on Saturday he said, “While the channels were airing breaking news that the ministers from the city were joining the chief minister to discuss the recent political developments, the reality was different”.
Irked by the media for using his phrase ‘Nikhil Elliddiyappa,’ which became popular after it hit headlines recently, Kumaraswamy said, “Related programmes are being aired every 30 minutes.”
“Nikhil Elliddiyappa” which means “Nikhil, where are you?” a phrase which was used by HD Kumaraswamy during the release of the movie Jaguar in which his son played the lead role turned into a popular troll after Nikhil Kumaraswamy was announced as the JD(S) candidate for Mandya. In fact, a group of students of JSS pre-university college, Nanjangud, situated near Mandya, danced to the popular saying “Nikhil Elliddiyappa” just before polling for the Lok Sabha elections had commenced.
Reiterating that the media ignored his good deeds and instead focused on false reports, Kumaraswamy said, “Do you think the government will keep quiet? The government is mulling over a law so that there is some control on irresponsible reporting,” he said.
This is however not the first time when the Karnataka CM has expressed his displeasure with media. Earlier he had ordered police officials to identify social media users who expressed dissent on social media over his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s candidacy from Mandya.
According to local media reports, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy may have issued gag orders to the state police officers and intelligence officers to not only stop people trending ‘Go back Nikhil’ on social media but also to find these social media users who have been expressing their dissent over JDS ‘parachuting’ Nikhil Kumaraswamy.