International

Prasar Bharati chief accuses The Caravan editor of ‘blatant’ anti-India presentation at global meet

A. Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharati.

A. Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharati.  

Prasar Bharati Chairman Dr. A. Surya Prakash said that Vinod K. Jose, Executive Editor of The Caravan magazine, made a “blatant” anti-India presentation during a session on ‘Religion and the Media’ at the Global Conference for Media Freedom, calling many of his statements “false” and “inaccurate”.

During his presentation, Mr. Jose said that “a hundred Christians were murdered in India” and “the RSS engineered the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984”.

After his presentation, when the discussion was thrown open to the floor, Mr. Prakash said many of the statements made by The Caravan editor were “false” and that there were “inaccuracies” in the presentation.

India was not only the world’s largest democracy, but also the most vibrant. It was also the most diverse society in the world, he added.

He said that if the audience left the hall believing Mr. Jose, democracy across the world would be in jeopardy.

The Prasar Bharati Chairman said that there were a few activists in the world who were uncomfortable with the electoral decision made by the voters of India in the recent parliamentary election and used such forums to peddle their theories.

The conference was organised jointly by the governments of the UK and Canada.

“I am pained by the decision of the organisers to have given a platform for such a blatant anti-India presentation. I don’t think anyone is furthering the cause of democracy by running down the most vibrant democracy in the world,” he said.

Mr. Prakash said that there were race riots in some parts of the US, but that could not be taken as an example to brand America as a non-democratic or a racist.

Further, India’s diversity was not just confined to the social space, he said, adding, “over 20 political parties govern India at the federal level and in the states, so it is completely incorrect to state that one party runs the country.”

He also pointed out that it was a free and responsible media in India which reported on social tensions and attacks on minorities.

The Chairman of the session and the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, took note of Mr. Prakash’s observations and said he had the highest respect for India’s democracy and while ethnic and other conflicts could be debated, India’s standing in the democratic world should not be in question.

Mr. Jose said that he “had started the presentation showing a few video clips, the latest being the three-week-old episode of a mob lynching a Muslim young man in Jharkhand. I went back in reverse chronology, talking about targeted killings such as the ones at Kandhamal, of Graham Stains and his sons, 2002 and 1984.Explaining the deep historical roots of such hatred, the presentation also showed extracts of what Golwalkar and Savarkar personally said about the Jews, Fascism and Hitler. The presentation also talked about how the mothership of Hindutva groups has organised itself today, as home of 65 organisations, each with a certain specialisation”.

The Caravan editor added: “While talking about 1984, I said the targeted killings of the Sikhs predates Hindutva groups’ time in power, and happened when the Congress party was in power. The Congress party workers in Delhi along with members of the RSS took part in the killings of Sikhs. The exact lines can be accessed from the video. But the news report shows me blaming only the RSS for 1984.”

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 9:24:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/prasar-bharati-chief-accuses-the-caravan-editor-of-blatant-anti-india-presentation-at-global-meet/article28420116.ece

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