According to media reports, English news channel Harvest TV has barely been around for a week but it already finds itself amid problems. The news channel is having a name issue, a logo problem, an unclear shareholding pattern, and there are rumors of partisan political affiliations as well.
Earlier, there were reports that the Congress party and its leaders are pushing huge money in the channel to spread the left-liberal propaganda. Kapil Sibal backed Harvest TV will have a good number of the left-liberal cabals on board. Harvest TV currently operates in Malayalam under Veecon media limited, the news channel has a license for English, Hindi and other regional languages. The license was issued during the previous Congress regime.
Earlier on January 30, Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) granted 10 days’ time to the government to reply to a broadcasting petition filed by Veecon Media and Broadcasting Pvt Ltd. In its petition, TDSAT claimed that the government has been ignoring its request to change the name and logo of the Sibal-backed Harvest TV. On which, the government sought out some time to share the details of the show cause notice to the Harvest TV. Government official further stated that there are some irregularities regarding its shareholding and the name “Harvest TV”.
Kapil Sibal, who is backing this media channel, had earlier played an instrumental role in establishing the ‘Tehelka’, controversial magazine, well known for its hit jobs on BJP leaders. Tarun Tejpal, the Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka was later arrested and imprisoned over rape charges. Shoma Chaudhury, the then editor of the magazine tried to defend Tejpal. Chaudhury is currently with Catch news, a left-liberal outfit of Rajasthan Patrika group.
Harvest TV is full of prominent faces of the left-liberal cabal like Barkha Dutt, Karan Thapar who will play the lead role in deciding the editorial line of the channel. It is in public knowledge that Barkha Dutt is close to Congress’ leadership and her name had also appeared in the Radia Tapes controversy. “Dutt’s role in the Radia Tapes did not seem to point to an individual act but an institutional malaise,” said Hartosh Singh Bal, the then editor of Open magazine which brought the tapes in public.
Karan Thapar, a well-established member of Lutyens’ cabal has also joined this TV venture. His family has close links with the Nehru-Gandhi family and he has been a part of the power structure for decades. He was a close associate and schoolmate of Sanjay Gandhi. He is well known for having a pro-Gandhi family stance and for vehement criticism of PM Modi.
Some other prominent faces like Seemi Pasha (ex-India Today) and Vineet Malhotra (ex-Times Now) have already joined the venture and are having their shows on the channel.
The act of bringing together the entire left-liberal eco-system is suggestive of Congress’ desperation to regain its lost influence in media. The left-liberal media establishment has been in a habit of collaborating with the opposition, mainly Congress, which has nurtured and nourished it since the days of state’s monopoly over media. The state monopoly over media ended some decades ago and but the Congress leaders are still toiling hard to control the popular narrative.