Consulting Editor of News Nation Deepak Chaurasia was attacked at Shaheen Bagh by people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Sharing a video from his ordeal on social media, he had said, “We are hearing that the constitution is in danger, we are hearing that the fight is to save democracy! When I reached Shaheen Bagh to show the same voice to the country, there was nothing less than mob lynching!”
The video that emerged was nothing short of shocking, with goons almost lynching Chaurasia. The video journalist accompanying Chaurasia was attacked as well and the camera was destroyed. According to him, there was no policeman at the site to protect him.
While most people expressed shock and unequivocally condemned the violence against Deepak Chaurasia by Shaheen Bagh goons, there were some who chose to shield the Islamist mobs by justifying the attack on him. From Marya Shakil of CNN News 18 to Arfa Khanum Sherwani of The Wire and even a columnist with Shekhar Gupta run The Print, the entire ecosystem proceeded to justify the attack against Chaurasia.
One conversation was intriguing and brazen in particular.
Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV, speaking about Chaurasia said that he once used to be a fine journalist but has now stopped being one, presumably, because he has stopped toeing the line set be the ecosystem. He further said that the brand of journalism practised by Chaurasia has ‘consequence’.
To this, Rohini Singh of The Wire further, slyly, justified the attack on Chaurasia by saying that he really is not a “journalist” as per her.
Absolutely. Chaurasia isn’t a journalist. But even that doesn’t justify an assault on him. And he doesn’t become a journalist because he was assaulted. The onus of civility has to be on BOTH Chaurasia and those who assaulted him.
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) 25 January 2020
Giving a fitting response to Rohini Singh, Deepak Chaurasia lashed out at The Wire employee.
रोहिणी @rohini_sgh मैं @DChaurasia2312 एक गरीब पृष्ठभूमि से आकर अपने दम पर पत्रकारिता की. मेरा कसूर सिर्फ इतना है कि मैं आप की तरह डिजाइनर पत्रकार नहीं हूँ! मेरा वित्त मंत्रालय में परिचय नीरा राडिया ने नहीं कराया! ना ही मैंने आजतक किसी सरकार से 3BHK फ़्लैट लेकर खबरें लिखी है! https://t.co/ufE1jGHSgP
— Deepak Chaurasia (@DChaurasia2312) 27 January 2020
Chaurasia said that he comes from a poor background and has done his journalism on his own merit. He said that his only fault was that he was not a “designer journalist” like Rohini Singh he had no contacts in the Finance Ministry through brokers like Nira Radiia. He added that he has also never received a 3 BHK apartment from any government for writing reports.
Back in 2010, during the Congress regime, a scandal had come to the fore where journalists, including ones like Barkha Dutt and MK Venu (who is the founding editor of The Wire where Rohini Singh now works), were heard hobnobbing with corporate lobbying Niira Radia. MK Venu was heard requesting corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to introduce a journalist named ‘Rohini Singh’ to her (lobbyist’s) circle (of politicians, businessmen, lobbyists, etc.). Radia was believed to be using journalists as brokers for securing favourable deals for her corporate clients from the UPA government. Rohini Singh is currently working with The Wire as well. This is what Chaurasia was referring to when he said that he had nobody introduce him in the Finance Ministry.
Further, Chaurasia claimed that unlike Rohini Singh, he was not given a 3BHK apartment to write favourable stories by any government. Prior to the Uttar Pradesh elections, it was rumoured that Rohini Singh had received a 2BHK apartment by Samajwadi Party headed by Akhilesh Yadav to write favourable stories. This rumour was further given wind by the fact that though the writing on the wall was clear, till the day before the results, Rohini Singh was adamantly asserting that SP was coming to power in the state. Further, after the election results were announced, she had disappeared and gone off Social Media for months. These allegations have, however, only remained allegations and no proof to substantiate these charges have emerged yet. Interestingly, now Deepak Chaurasia has suggested that it was not 2 BHK but 3 BHK apartment that was given to Rohini Singh, something OpIndia can not independently verify.
It is pertinent to note that The Wire is facing trial in a defamation case filed by Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah.
The case relates to an article written by Rohini Singh and published by The Wire alleging impropriety in business dealings of Jay Shah. Their article, which was riddled with glaring loopholes and inaccuracy, was decimated by us. Subsequently, The Wire had selectively altered its story, but the shaky ground on which the story stood remained as it was.
In response to the shoddy story, Jay Shah had slapped ‘The Wire’ with a ₹100 crore defamation case against them in a Gujarat court. Subsequently, the Gujarat High Court had issued a gag order on The Wire, preventing it from publishing anything on the matter. The High Court had observed that Jay Shah has a prima facie case against the publication.