Open Letter to Srinivas Jain

published on July 1, 2013

Namaskaram Shri Jain,

I continue to be disappointed with your reportage on the Ishrat Jahan case. I wrote about your panel discussion on NDTV in my piece ‘NDTV’s Srinivas Jain disappoints’ (29/6/2013, Haindava Keralam).

There I asked aloud whether you were truly informed about the facts of the case , or at least that is the subtext of what I was saying. And ofcourse, the  motley crew of panelists were not helpful either. I exempt Narayan Vyas and Mr. Kartik from this criticism, not because Vyas is a Gujarat government spokesperson and Mr. Kartik is an ex Director of the IB, but because they were sober in their pronouncements.

Many of us in the diaspora who were willing to give you a fair hearing are disappointed. I myself have been an interested viewer of some your reportage but I am now skeptical of your present reportage. I should also point out to you that I am a first time reader  of niticentral.com (started reading on June 30, 2013, as a regular reader, although I had already ready one or two articles there which were brought to my attention by friends) because of the limitations of your panel discussion which was aired on June 27, 2013,  I believe.

I am also a daily viewer of NDTV and was surprised to find a short clip on the encounter from you on June 29,2013 (‘Truth vs Hype : Gujaraat encounters – A dangerous nexus’). This may have been aired earlier and was a repeat. Here, you do not mince words so to speak. And you have the same ‘ol same ‘l hostile witnesses repeating their unconvincing lines. I read today your response to some criticism from niticentral.com where you state that you are simply presenting the facts and let the viewer judge.

However, your June 29 video is far from your stated position above. You present the report not as an open ended question but as if you were privy to all the happenings. Here is one sample :

You inform the viewer in no ambigous terms that some police officer phoned the Minister for Home Affairs and the Home Minister (Shri Narendra Modi) the afternoon prior to the shooting deaths of Ishrat Jahan and the others involved.

Is this supposed to be  evidence that both Modi and Amit Shah were conspirators in the deaths ? Even a school child knows that in an explosive situation (the IB had informed them that they had reliable knowledge that Jahan and her friends were LeT agents sent to assasinate the Gujarat Chief Minister) the police would be in routine contact with the government.

What is so unusual about this ? And the reported content of the phone conversations was about what  she said and he said !

Your  video (in my opinion)made unverifiable assertions. It may have influenced some viewers but many of us were not convinced of the authenticity of your reportage.

I would go a step further and say that when Shri Narendra Modi is the only alternative to a corrupt and venal government at the Centre your consistent efforts (or so they seem) to malign him are a disservice to the country.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

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