Debate lands scribe in a soup

He gets death threats after BJP leader calls for his sacking

A journalist working with a private Tamil news channel has been receiving threats following a TV debate related to the issue of allowing women into the Sabarimala temple.

Karthikeyan, the TV anchor, started receiving threats after a tweet by TNCC spokesperson Americai Narayanan condemning the comments made by the journalist during a debate on Puthiya Thalaimurai channel was retweeted by BJP’s H. Raja. The latter urged all political parties and Hindus to protest till the journalist was sacked. Following this, the journalist started receiving threats and abusive phone calls, and trolls started targeting his family as well, sources in Puthiya Thalaimurai told The Hindu.

During the debate, the journalist read out a poem about menstruation and Gods that was published in a Tamil magazine a few years back. The participants in the show objected to it. Mr. Karthikeyan subsequently apologised for his action.

S.Ve. Shekar example

“There is a concerted attempt over the last few months to target individual journalists. It’s like a threat that anchors cannot say anything. Trolls have been threatening him and his family. The journalist has been provided protection by the company,” sources said.

Repeated calls to Mr. Raja went unanswered. However, a senior BJP leader in the State said that the party was unlikely to back Mr. Raja’s statement on this issue.

“Mr. Karthikeyan has apologised. That should bring the matter to a close. When we say S.Ve. Shekar should be pardoned after his apology, why shouldn’t that same logic apply to this issue also?” the leader asked.

Mr. Narayanan, while pointing out that his tweet didn’t target anyone personally, said: “This should stop. He has apologised. We all make mistakes and we should not go after the journalists. There cannot be a personal attack.” However, he said that anchors needed to be careful about making provocative statements for the sake of a debate. “If one of the participants had made these comments, the other panellists could have objected to it. What was the need for him to bring this up?”

When asked why he didn’t respond to Mr. Raja’s retweet [of his tweet], Mr. Narayanan said, “I don’t acknowledge the existence of Raja. If I had responded, it would look like I am giving credence to his tweet.”

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 2:10:06 AM |

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