Yesterday, OpIndia accessed a video of an India Today journalist interviewing one of the students at JNU where she appears to be ‘coaching’ the person. The student himself is member of a leftist political dispensation in the university. In the video, the journalist, quite clearly, appears to be having extensive discussions regarding what the events that transpired at the University and at one point, has a prolonged hush-hush discussion with the JNUSU VP that’s not audible to the ears. The journalist in question here was Tanushree Pandey.
As it turns out, the same journalist of India Today who was seen colluding with JNUSU and the Left, was also the one who had along with the JNUSU students, heckled Republic TV reporters on November 19t 2019.
The protests by JNU students against hostel fee hike had escalated on the 18th of November as thousands of protesting students had marched towards the Parliament. The police had stopped the student march and detained several students. The protest had disrupted normalcy in Delhi. During the protests, an ambulance was stuck in the traffic jam in the Jor Bagh area. Further, due to the protests, the entry and exit points of multiple Delhi Metro stations near Parliament were shut down temporarily. The Delhi Metro had closed entry and exit gates at the Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan and Central Secretariat stations. In fact, Section 144 was also imposed in the JNU campus on 18th.
On 18th itself, a press conference was called by JNUSU in the JNU campus right behind the Swami Vivekananda statue that was vandalised. During the press conference, three-woman journalists from Republic TV were abused, heckled, manhandled and asked to leave. They stood their ground and maintained that they had a right to report.
Heckling these journalists were JNUSU students including JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh who is now a suspect in the 5th January 2020 violence that broke out in JNU. Aishe Ghosh has been caught on camera trying to heckle the Republic TV reporters. In fact, while Aishe was heckling these reporters, their mics were also turned off so they cannot ask any questions to JNUSU.
According to the Republic TV journalists’ own account, as was telecast on Republic TV, the question that they had asked JNUSU was whether blocking an Ambulance is the right form of protest. To this, the answer was mindless hackling and abuse.
What is interesting to note is that along with JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and other JNUSU students, a journalist was also heckling the Republic TV reporters for asking pointed questions to the students during a press conference. The journalist doing the heckling was Tanushree Pandey, the very journalist from India Today who has now been caught coaching the JNUSU VP what to say on camera. She had also regurgitated the very incorrect explanation of mail servers as the JNUSU student had coached her.
Tanushree had herself taken to Twitter on the 20th of November to admit that she was “fighting with media colleagues” of Republic.
Completely false. What happened in #JNU during this PC was pre-planned, orchestrated disruption by Republic & loons from @SureshChavhanke‘s gang. In the video, Im fighting with media colleagues, not with students. I’m a journalist & wont take injustice, even if done by my people https://t.co/pPGQDGDNRy
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) November 20, 2019
In the video quoted by Tanushree Pandey, along with her, one can see the JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh as well.
Along with Aishe Ghosh, one can also see India Today journalist Tanushree Pandey.
Tanushree Pandey was hailed abundantly by JNUSU 2016 Presidency Candidate Sunny Dhiman Wakker for the “stand she took” in “showing Godi Media its place”. “Godi Media” is a pejorative term used by Leftists to denigrate the media houses that don’t heckle other journalists for them, perhaps.
— Sunny Dhiman Wakker (@sunnywakker) November 19, 2019
We are happy to that @IndiaToday reporter @TanushreePande fought for media ethics and exposed #GodiMedia
Sudarshannews, Republic & Zee ‘s bosses have forced their reporter to do this inhuman act of verbally heckling a Blimd student who was beaten by Delhi Police.#jnuprotest
— Sunny Dhiman Wakker (@sunnywakker) November 20, 2019
Unsurprisingly, as the media is one giant incestuous club, other journalists too hailed Tanushree for heckling Republic TV reporters along with JNUSU president and other students.
To a tweet by Nidhi Razdan, NDTV journalist, Tanushree Pandey said that she could “take this stand” because Rajdeep Sardesai, Aroon Purie and IndiaToday as a whole were “standing rock solid” behind her.
Thank you so much, @Nidhi ma’am. Only being able to do this because my channel is standing rock solid by me. Thank you chiefs @aroonpurie sir, @rahulkanwal sir and @snehanshus sir for allowing me to take the right stand on the ground https://t.co/s3ZB1DNt7V
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) 20 November 2019
She also thanked a fellow heckler journalist who outed that Tanushree was one of the first to heckle the Republic TV reporters.
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) November 20, 2019
And then there were other so-called journalists who thought heckling other journalists was brave while reporting a side that does not conform to Leftists was ‘bringing disrepute to the profession’.
— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) November 20, 2019
It was on this day, that a student from JNU had admitted on camera that wants to pick up guns and the first person he would shoot are media persons. This student had first perhaps not realised that he was talking to a Republic TV reporter and had said that he too can buy AK 47 and pick up laathis. When Republic TV reporter Rhythm had questioned him about his call to violence, he had first asked which channel she was from and then said that he will first hunt for media persons and shoot them.
The fault of the Republic TV journalists was simply that they asked the “students” of JNUSU how they could intimidate and block an Ambulance during their protest. And they were physically heckled and abused not just by JNUSU, but joined by India Today reporter Tanushree.
India Today has recently conducted a sting where they tried their best to implicate ABVP in the 5th January 2020 JNU violence. However, their assertions were thoroughly debunked. To top it all, OpIndia accessed a video where India Today journalist Tanushree Pandey can clearly be seen colluding with JNUSU.
With these facts and that the same journalist Tanushree Pandey of India Today had heckled reporters of Republic, along with JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh only further dents the credibility of India Today and that of this reporter.
It is rather evident that India Today journalists share a close ‘relationship’ with JNUSU and perhaps, could have vested interests in publishing botched up sting operations in an attempt to shield the Leftists. Further, the conduct of the India Today journalist who joined JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh in heckling reporters who were merely asking questions that were not toeing the line of the Leftists points to a deeper malaise within India Today. Evidently, India Today’s credibility is bound to take a further hit with such open collusion with the Left coming to the fore.