Saturday, July 1, 2017

Is Republic TV hounding S P Udaykumar?

‘Arnab Goswami and Republic are harassing me and my family’: read S P  Udayakumar’s letter to Press Council  on June 21, 2017.  Renowned anti-nuclear & peace activist Dr. S P Udayakumar has filed a complaint with the Press Council of India against harassment meted out to  him & his family by Republic TV and its reporters. 

Here is the complaint that Dr. Udayakumar sent to the Press Council earlier today:

S. P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Pachai Tamizhagam Katchi (Green Tamil Nadu Party)

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad
The Chairman,  Press Council of India
Soochna Bhavan;  8-C.G.O. Complex

Lodhi Road;  New Delhi 110 003

Dear Sir:

Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and  harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his  colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.

On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name  was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as  a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for  my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her
 “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.

On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a  few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors”  was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear  power plant. I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and  our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any  other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was  frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds. So  I said she could not donate money from abroad but her parents could do it here in India if she sent the money to them. I also mentioned clearly that  I would give proper receipt and the money will be accounted for. I also  informed her that we were not interested in getting foreign funds.

Mr. Arnab Goswami and his team telecasted this as a so-called “sting  operation” on me at 2 pm on June 20, 2017 in their Republic TV and alleged  that our struggle against the Koodankulm nuclear power project was funded  by the Church with foreign donations. I took part in the very same panel discussion on Republic TV and clarified what had transpired. But Mr. Goswami was so abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive.

As I was taking part in their discussion from Kumbakonam town where I was  attending an agitation, Republic TV reporter Sanjeev was standing in front  of my home at Nagercoil from 2 pm till 11 pm that night harassing my  parents aged 85 and 82 respectively, my wife and school-going son. He was insisting on their responding to their so-called sting operation. Even after they told him that I was out of town, he and three of his colleagues  were hounding my family with their high-handed behavior.

Sanjeev showed up at my home again in the morning of June 21, 2017 and  started harassing my family all over again. When my aged father objected to  his ruthless behavior, he fraudulently reported on his TV that I personally  had scolded him. I came to know about the whole incident when I came home  in the evening.

In a desperate attempt to raise the TRP rate, the discredited Republic TV  has been telecasting slanderous reports about me and spreading canards  through social media. This kind of indecent and abusive behavior of an anchor and reporters is unacceptable in a democracy. The Republic TV and their reporters are crossing all limits and causing so much mental agony to me and my entire family.

In the light of the above situation, may I request you to do the needful to stop this anti-people TV from hurting me and more people in future, please.  Looking forward to your immediate and favorable intervention, I send you my best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.

S. P. Udayakumar