Ravish Kumar, senior executive editor at NDTV India and a prime time anchor won Ramon Magsaysay Award for ‘courageous journalism’. Another person to get the same honor is Arvind Kejriwal in 2006 when he was head of the Delhi-based NGO Parivartan. So, there is no need for commentary on the merits of the award. But let’s use this opportunity to look at the illustrious career of favorite journalist of left-liberal establishment. How the ‘objective’ journalist who claims that he merely asks questions to politicians is so forgiving for the people with leftists ideology peddles agenda against right wing politicians and government.
1- ‘Neutral’ Ravish Kumar on UP Mahagathbandhan’s stage
Ravish Kumar was spotted on the stage of failed SP BSP Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh. While Akhilesh Yadav was addressing the crowd, Ravish Kumar was spotted standing behind Mayawati on the stage. The presence of media personnel in rallies by politicians is not a big deal, as they choose to attend such rallies in order to cover them for their respective media houses. Yet, we are aware that for such convenience the journalists are provided a proper designated area. Journalists are only allowed to cover the rally and they are neither allowed to reach the podium to speak, nor are they invited on stage.
2- Akhilesh Yadav threatens journalists in front of Ravish. Ravish chooses silence
A few months ago, narrating an incident the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “Once I summoned a journalist from Delhi who had called me Aurangzeb. I regret letting him get away. I should have killed him with a sword like Aurangzeb.” Ravish Kumar meekly asked him to reconsider his statement but Akhilesh chose to defend his statement by adding that he has said so because he was angry. He further went on to add that since the journalist was left unhurt therefore it proved that Akhilesh was not cruel and dictatorial like Aurangzeb.
Ravish Kumar interviewed 23 year old, pro-AAP Youtuber, Dhruv Rathee who spews ‘gyaan’ in short Youtube videos, on topics ranging from ‘How to start a business’ to ‘fake news’. Rathee himself has been found spreading fake news many times.
Ravish Kumar tweeted about how the Modi government sold forest land in Chhattisgarh to the Adani group. “Congrats Bhakton! Modi just sold off 170,000 hectares of most dense forests in India to Adani! Env. Ministry gave clearance for coal mining in Hasdeo forests to a subsidiary of Adani enterprises. In 2009, Env Ministry had made these forests a No-Go Zone for their richness,” tweeted Rathee. However when the Adani Group pointed out factual inaccuracy in the tweet and threatened legal action against him, Rathee deleted the tweet.
3- Spreading fake news on martyr status of CRPF personnel
Ravish Kumar is known for fake news on martyr status of CRPF personnel. He had stated that its highly unfair that CRPF soldiers are not bestowed with the title of a “Shahid” or, a “Martyr” by the government. The statement is, “Poorn sainik ki tarah ladhkar bhi yeh ardh sainik hai aur jaan dekar bhi yeh shahid nahi hai.” This roughly translates to “Even after fighting like a complete soldier, they are referred to as paramilitary and even after giving their life; they aren’t given the title of a martyr.” But in a notification dated 22nd December, 2015, by the Ministry of Home Affairs, The Ministry of Defence had informed that the word ‘Martyr’ is not used in reference to any of the casualties in Indian Armed Forces.
4- Ravish Kumar’s ‘mime’ drama after NDTV was justifiably banned for one day
In November 2016, after the government banned NDTV because of its irresponsible live coverage of a terrorist attack, Ravish Kumar used ‘clown show’ to express ‘Right to dissent’. Instead of accepting that the channel should have not carried such coverage which could have put ‘National Security’ at risk, he brought two clowns who were communicated in sign language. This was Ravish’s innovative way to protest against the one day ban on NDTV.
5- Ravish Kumar misled people on India’s defence budget
After the budget came out in February 2019, Ravish Kumar targeted the government over ‘reduction’ in defence budget. The post which Ravish shared on facebook was highly misleading regarding India’s defence budget. At the time, we had demolished the misleading narrative by Ravish point by point.
In November last year, in a Facebook post shared the screenshots of first pages of Hindi newspapers and asked questions regarding why all the newspapers did not give priority to CBI officer Manish Kumar Sinha’s petition in Supreme Court of India.
As one of his colleagues in the NDTV, Akhilesh Sharma, rightly pointed out, Ravish Kumar wants to be a moral police to the media organizations and want to paint all channels and newspapers with the same brush. In his opinion, all the media organizations should represent the ideology of his own.
The mud-slinging by him on other media organization is to undermine their credibility and heighten his reputation. Every media organization is independent and had an editorial policy of its own. The priority of news depends on editorial policy of the media organization. But the problem with Ravish Kumar is that he wants the same policy for every organization like a Communist regime.
The so-called tolerant new anchors who claim that intolerance is growing in the country could not digest the fact some media organizations have editorial policy different from their own. These news anchors are self-proclaimed liberals but they are not left with an iota of liberalism when some person or organization does not follow a policy which according to them is better.
The ideologically driven anchors like Ravish Kumar perpetuate their own ideology in debate shows as they bring in the panelists who share a similar ideology as them. Field expertise no longer matters in the ideologically driven media; all that matters is whether one is pro-government or anti-government.
The standards of the television have gone so low that informed debate just cannot be expected from them. All they indulge in, is a PR exercise for the opposition. Majority of the anchors do not have enough intellectual rigor to present their views on any topic, they read the lines written by the production team from a teleprompter.
Now, the cardinal sins that Ravish has committed in terms of journalistic ethics would have ended the career of any other journalist but here we are, Ravish Kumar being commended internationally. Ravish often denigrates other journalists and asks (rhetorically, of course) what is wrong with today’s media. Dear Ravish, agenda driven, biased journalists being hailed as some sort of savior is the plague that has destroyed the journalism of today. But it is futile to expect a show from you on this.