The controversy surrounding Tiranga TV and Kapil Sibal has further escalated with recent events disclosing that bouncers have been sent in to remove fired journalists who were protesting for a six month payout. Barkha Dutt, who earlier launched a scathing attack on Sibal for the unjustified lay-offs at Tiranga TV, once again criticised Sibal severely for sending bouncers to remove the protesting journalists. She tweeted, “Bouncers at @NewsHtn office sent in by @KapilSibal and wife tweet protesting colleagues who are on an all night sit in dharna demanding a six month pay out. Need I say more. This needs the urgent intervention of @IndEditorsGuild @PrakashJavdekar.”
It is relevant to mention here that the channel had been launched in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls this year, with Kapil Sibal as one of the promoters. However, barely a month after the election results, the channel reportedly fell into a crisis. As per reports, there have been several rounds of lay-offs at the news channel. The reports added that several journalists had left decent jobs before joining Tiranga TV but now they are left in a spot of bother after being fired with extra salary for only one month. According to the reports, there have been three rounds of lay-off at the news channel. It also reported that the retrenched journalists are demanding that they should be paid at least three months extra salary given the market conditions.
Bouncers at @NewsHtn office sent in by @KapilSibal and wife tweet protesting colleagues who are on an all night sit in dharna demanding a six month pay out. Need I say more. This needs the urgent intervention of @IndEditorsGuild @PrakashJavdekar https://t.co/I7cvNKP8in
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 15, 2019
Dutt who had earlier stayed silent on the issue of lay-offs at Tiranga TV stating that she was not involved in the management of the Company, went after Kapil Sibal and his wife for the mass lay-offs at Tiranga TV yesterday, finally breaking her silence. In a long twitter thread, Dutt not only pointed out how the network is laying off employees without even due notice period, but also how the employees who were brought on board barely months ago are being summarily dismissed. Furthermore, Barkha Dutt highlighted the thoroughly unprofessional behaviour of Kapil Sibal’s wife who is also in the management of the company and the couple’s absolute disdain for the journalists. Barkha Dutt also revealed that Kapil Sibal wanted to blame the Modi government for the sacking of the employees but according to her the Modi government pose no hindrance to the operations of the channel.
Aditya Raj Kaul also tweeted about this issue and posted a video clip of bouncers at the office premises of the news channel. He said, “Hearing bouncers have been called in at Tiranga TV office in Sector 4 of Noida. Sad if the journalists are being intimidated after being fired without any prior notice. Video sent by a journalist who had joined the organisation for work opportunity few months ago.”
Hearing bouncers have been called in at Tiranga TV office in Sector 4 of Noida. Sad if the journalists are being intimidated after being fired without any prior notice. Video sent by a journalist who had joined the organisation for work opportunity few months ago. pic.twitter.com/PpNafkn2NW
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) July 15, 2019
Some of the protesting journalists also tweeted about the shameful turn of events. It is clear that the journalists who were arbitrarily dismissed by Tiranga TV allegedly without any prior notice are facing a rather dire situation.
Dear @KapilSibal, sending bouncers won't help. We are not uncivilized mob which will vandalise office property or equipments, we are journalists, resorting to violence is never an option for us. Reiterating that we won't leave the newsroom until you accept our demand. pic.twitter.com/tt0yEJaS0R
— Swati Garg (@ISwatiGarg) July 15, 2019
After not addressing the staffers in regards to their severance pay, @KapilSibal has sent bouncers to intimidate the employees who are quietly sitting in the office on a peaceful protest! Creating fear, intimidating journalists..what next? @BDUTT pic.twitter.com/ifbDpFCQfK
— ANTRA MUDGAL (@mudgalntra) July 15, 2019
This calls for immediate interference by organisations like the Press Club of India and the Editors Guild of India. However, it appears that pouncing on Kangana Ranaut for merely voicing her opinion is more important than protecting the interests of journalists who have been laid off in an abrupt manner by a Congress leader, Kapil Sibal. As of now, no promoters of the Tiranga TV have stepped up to help the journalists.