The CBI raids on NDTV big boss Pronnoy Roy ‘s media house might have surprised the anti-Modi faction in the media, but certainly not the disciples who were patrolling the NDTV money laundering since few years. The nationalists are rejoicing as the PM Modi has proved once again, Modi means business, in punishing the corrupt without ‘fear’.
The tirade against NDTV was launched by the Income Tax Officer Mr SK Srivastava, Ms Madhu Kishwar, S Gurumurthy, Sree Iyer, Sucheta Dalal, and scores of others.
As the saying goes, there can’t be a smoke in the sky, without a fire in the foothills.
Because raiding NDTV is no small thing and filing a FIR against its celebrated secular Godfather Mr Prannoy Roy is no mean accomplishment as the NDTV clout with the previous UPA Government was too overpowering. When I said ‘accomplishment’, it should not mean it is a personal victory for Modi, but a victory against media corruption, money laundering, hawala trafficking etc.
This bootleg market inside the fourth estate has caused irreparable damage to the image of secular India and the honest secular credentials of genuine Indians in particular. It’s because such dishonest media houses have been using this ‘pseudo-secularism‘ as a weapon to bully the right thinking citizens and right wing organisations since more than a decade succeeding in keeping them at bay, covering their misdeeds.
The secular coterie’s reaction is predictable. Many dubbed it as an ‘assault on freedom of the press’ (mark the phrase carefully). In this chorus, surprisingly many popular journalists did not join the noise of ‘assault of freedom of the press’/ ‘Modi choking the breath of freedom espoused in our Constitution etc . Those journos who are well versed in the financials of a company were careful in distancing themselves from the chorus of ‘assault on freedom of the press’, except the few juvenile fans and employees of NDTV like Rana Ayyubs, Nidhi Razdhans etc
To begin with, what can be dubbed as an assault on freedom of the press?
If an upright editor writes an editorial piece, highly slanderous one on the Prime Minister and the very next day if the CBI raids the Editor’s residence, his office chambers and files a FIR or arrest him on charges of sedition or the like can alone be dubbed as an attack on Freedom of the Press.
Here the CBI raided NDTV of Prannoy Roy for his financial bunglings he indulged in the company as a promoter.
CBI reached the doorsteps of Prannoy Roy armed with search warrants, after years of investigations. So there were no orders of censorship or gag orders that followed from the Government on NDTV channels, websites, restricting opinions, editorials, columns being published, either before the raids or after.
This is how the CBI and the Government both have come out strongly, dashing the hopes of the few ill-informed journos of leading a war against Modi. The charges were not just confined to ICICI Bank loan frauds, but something more to it.
It all started in 2006 — with P. Chidambaram colluding-Tax evasion, suspected money-laundering
‘Before the high financial rise of NDTV began, one must remember that when the UPA assumed office in 2004, NDTV had a huge cash loss of Rs 248 crore. It had no funds even to pay salaries, and its shares were trading at less than par. Its fortunes soared after the UPA came to power, and it received funds through a host of shell companies floated by it after 2004’
“Between 2006 and 2010, NDTV India floated some 20 wholly-owned subsidiaries in different parts of the world – seven in Mauritius, eight in India, two in the Netherlands, one in London, one in UAE, and one in Sweden. All of them were letter-box companies, resting only on the valuation of NDTV Ltd. These subsidiary companies raised $417 million. Of this, $310 million was raised through a wholly-owned subsidiary, NDTV Network PLC UK, and $117 million through the sale of the channel NDTV Imagine to GE Corporation controlled by Universal Studios – all through private negotiation and private placement. Out of the $417 million, $267 million was invested by GE Corporation directly or indirectly. Just a reference to the emails obtained by the Income Tax authorities shows how the Roys and the other directors of NDTV were struggling to camouflage the huge monies received, not knowing how to camouflage the funds before the tax authorities. All this happened in 2008”.
It kept out of its Balance Sheets the entire investment of $310 million in its London shell co, which shared 3000 companies with a common address’
But then, here is an unfortunate exception. A well-learned Journalist, Right Wing ideologue, ex BJP Mr Arun Shourie ranting on the very channel NDTV, dubbing the CBI raids on NDTV and Prannoy Roy as an assault on freedom of the media. This kind of dishonest display do happen in politics, but when it is excessive, it’s our duty to expose the hypocrisy.
Year 1987-Place India
Agencies involved in the raids: Customs, Excise, ED, DRI, Delhi Police etc
On whom they raided? The Indian Express
The PM of India was then Mr. Rajiv Gandhi
The reason? Vendetta. For what?
600 intelligence men swooped down simultaneously on 12 centres of the Indian Express group across the country.
Two CRPF armed companies, scores of Delhi policemen and plainclothesmen from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), customs, and revenue service invaded the Indian Express building, including the editorial offices.
The Indian press then was engaged, past seven months in an exotic, uncompromised editorial battle against the corrupt Rajiv Gandhi.
There were series of critical editorials, columns, cartoons, investigative reports, being published in the Indian Express, endangering the very reputation of the then Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi.
Mr Arun Shourie was instrumental then in defending the Indian Express in the hostilities with the then PM of India, late Mr Rajiv Gadhi. What Arun Shourie said then is very critical in the present situation too.
Mr. Arun Shourie said that ‘Newspaper managements should subject themselves to audit by public men in order to make their position invulnerable’
So, one would think that same norms should be applicable to NDTV like media houses, in the present scenario too.
The relief is, unlike the then PM Mr Rajiv Gandhi, the present PM Modi did not order multi-agency raids, with platoon of security personnel’s swooping the publishing houses, telecasting studios, administrative offices all over India. It’s because Modi was not rattled by any editorials, columns, write-ups, live telecast of any misdeeds of Modi, that appeared in NDTV publications or in its electronic media. Not a single earthshaking shady deals of the PM Modi was ever reported by NDTV till now.
Hence the claim of vendetta is nothing but pure calumny and in coming days more and more Intellect citizens of India would be rejecting the secular brigade’s tirade against Modi, and strengthen the ruling dispensation in the nation building and waging a war against deep-rooted subversive agenda of a a section of media.