Former ABP News journalist Punya Prasun Bajpai had written an article for The Wire post his exit from ABP News. The article as expected turned out to be written with the intent to hurt the BJP government and PM Modi in particular. In the article Punya Prasun Bajpai wrote that the proprietor cum chief editor of the ABP News channel had approached him asking him to refrain from taking the name of PM Modi in his reporting. In the not so subtle article the journalist had hinted time and again that his exit from the ABP News channel had happened due to PM Modi and BJP’s undue interference in his work. The article in total is full of a journalist trying hard to play the victim card and basically shifting the blame for his misadventures onto the ruling party. The article hinted that the central government is turning into an authoritarian regime which wants to dictate and control every news and publishing house in the country.
Punya Prasun Bajpai surprisingly seems to have had a change of hearts within less than two months of leaving ABP News and of writing his piece for The Wire. A national convention against assault on journalists was organised by the Committee Against Assault on Journalists at New Delhi’s Constitution Club on September 22 and 23. Punya Prasun Bajpai was one of the most well known speakers who were present at the venue while other known faces included that of Caravan political editor Hartosh Singh Bal, former National Security Editor of The Hindu Josy Joseph, Om Thanvi, Seema Azad and others. Punya Prasun Bajpai must have been invited to the event as the organisers would have expected him to go on a rant against the central government and PM Modi. This however did not happen as Bajpai went on to contradict his earlier article by proclaiming that there is nothing especially bad happening in the country. He denied any kind of government pressure being put on media houses and even went on to narrate incidents when the Manmohan Singh led UPA government had tried to ask his then media house to hide some news related to the scams. This change of heart by the former ABP News journalist is surprising considering he is now contradicting himself within the matter of a few months.
It is therefore very important to find out who were the people behind his article published in The Wire. It might have been a case of bad blood between him and his former employers or a clear cut case of the opposition and the left dominated media houses putting pressure on him to lend his voice for their war against the democratically chosen BJP government in the centre. The whole narrative of freedom of press being denied by the central government which he chose to parrot hence is nothing more than a big fat lie. The conspiracy of ‘press under threat’ is a lie and Punya Prasun Bajpai might have been pressurized to write the article targeting his former employers and the central government. The narrative is being pushed forward by the Congress and extreme left leaning media houses which have chosen this path to make it difficult for the BJP to retain their position in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Punya Prasun Bajpai and his contradicting speech and article prove that he is being manipulated time and again by the Congress and left dominated media houses. His exit from ABP News might be a case of simply taking a break from work or of a tiff between him and his employers. To drag PM Modi and the central government in this is a case of desperation and nothing more, and the left as can easily be seen is as desperate as it can get.