This refers to the attack on the office of Tamil bi-weekly Nakkheeran on Saturday by AIADMK activists, after it carried a report describing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa as a beef-eater (Jan. 8). The Nakkheeran write-up on Ms Jayalalithaa is opposed to journalistic ethics. It invades the Chief Minister's privacy, and gives a caste angle to the report. The Press Council of India should take action against the bi-weekly.
P.V. Ramana Rao,
The dangerous trend of attacks on journalists is a matter of grave concern. If the report in Nakkheeran was malicious, those aggrieved could have sought legal redress. The AIADMK activists who attacked the magazine's office should be made to understand that they are not above the law. Violence is not acceptable in a democracy.
There are laws to tackle libel and slander. Vandalism is no remedy. While the journal should have desisted from publishing scurrilous matter — recognising that the right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute but is subject to reasonable restrictions — the AIADMK activists, too, should have exercised restraint.
Much as one would like to defend the freedom of press and condemn the attack on the Nakkheeran office, a reading of the excerpts which triggered the chain of events shows there has been no change in Tamil Nadu in the last 60- plus years. Hatred for a caste continues unabated, the justification being it created the caste system and enjoyed privileges disproportionate to its population. Much of that is distant history but reverse discrimination, verbal and physical, continues.