The Prasar Bharti chairperson Dr A Surya Prakash has called out the Editor-in-chief of the Caravan magazine, Vinod K Jose for disseminating factually incorrect and grossly inaccurate presentation of India during a session on ‘Religion and the Media’ at the Global Conference For Media Freedom in London.
Slamming Jose for his blatantly anti-India statements, the chairperson of the Prasar Bharti, A Surya Prakash asserted that the Caravan magazine Editor was running propaganda through his lies and misleading arguments.
Jose had contended on Thursday at the event that religious minorities in the country were persecuted under the leadership of BJP and PM Modi. To drive home his point, Jose showed arbitrary snippets of media coverage of alleged incidents against minorities. Jose asserted in his presentation that ‘hundreds of Christians were targeted and killed’ in India. He also accused RSS of engineering the Sikh pogrom in 1984.
After his presentation, when the floor was thrown open for discussion, the Prasar Bharti chairperson stood up to debunk the falsehoods peddled by the Caravan editor. The Prasar Bharti chairperson claimed the accusations made by Jose as false and apprised the audience of the inaccuracies in Jose’s contentions.
Prakash said that India is the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy. He informed the listeners that out of 900 million voters eligible to vote, 600 million exercised their right to elect the new government. He argued that democracies across the world will be in danger if the audience gave credence to Jose’s manufactured lies.
Prakash asserted that there exists a section of activists who couldn’t bring themselves to the terms that an overwhelming population of the country has reposed their faith in PM Modi. He said that Modi’s return to power has had some people uncomfortable who are now indulging in besmirching India on an international platform.
“I am anguished by the organisers to have provided a platform for such a prejudiced anti-India presentation. I don’t think anyone is promoting the cause of democracy by belittling the most vibrant democracy in the world,” he said.
Prakash stated that India’s democracy is deep-rooted, which is evident from its federal structure and the existence of a plethora of opposition regional parties governing their respective states and territories. He argued that just like US cannot be called a racist nation based on random crimes against Black people, similarly, it is outrightly wrong to paint India as against the minorities based on unfortunate arbitrary incidents.
On the claim that media is gagged and there is a palpable threat to the free and fair conduct of media, Prakash pointed out the irony in the assertion saying that the reports of incidents against minorities cited by Jose were a testament to the fact that the media is independent and free in the country.
The Chairman of the session and the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, immediately heeded to Prakash’s remarks and assured that he had the highest regards for India’s democracy and while ethnic and other conflicts could be debated, India’s eminence in the democratic world is unimpeachable.