The arrest of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma yesterday by Delhi Police’ Special Cell, under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) has exposed how deep the rot in the country’s media is, with journalists, not shying away from selling their souls to enemy nations for a hefty price. Sharma was found to be in possession of sensitive national security and classified documents and has also been found passing off information from the same to his Chinese handlers. The arrest comes amidst heightened tensions between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.
While Rajeev Sharma has blatantly assaulted all ethics as a journalist, he has also acted in brazen dereliction of duty as an Indian citizen. As it now turns out, entire machinery is being readied to defend the man who has confessed to providing the sensitive information to the Chinese intelligence agencies. According to independent journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, media bodies are being pressurised by certain quarters to issue statements in favour of Rajeev Sharma following his arrest by the Delhi Police.
Media bodies are under pressure to issue statements in support of journalist Rajeev Sharma. Wonder who is applying this pressure? If there is damning evidence of espionage and maybe even a confession by three arrested accused, then on what basis does a media body issue support?
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) September 19, 2020
Scribe Rajeev Sharma held for giving info to Chinese got Rs 40 lakh in one-and-a-half years. He was getting USD 1,000 for each info: Police
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 19, 2020
Already, in a shocking development, the ‘Press Club of India’ has issued a statement which goes on to defend Rajeev Sharma and his actions, while citing examples of the times when the Delhi Police arrested individuals based on fabricated charges. The PCI said it is “astounded to hear of the arrest of Rajeev Sharma, a well-known independent journalist of long-standing and a member of the club. This is on account of the dubious track record of the Special Cell. More generally also, the record of Delhi Police is hardly a shining one.”
Press Club of India (NOT Press Council) offers shocking reaction on arrest of a freelancer by Delhi Police.
I am sure the Club's thousands of ordinary, hardworking journos are NOT AT ALL in support of a rant that equates them with the likes of Umar Khalid & Kanhaiya among others! pic.twitter.com/AWf9PGzpAf
— Siddharth Zarabi (@szarabi) September 19, 2020
In case there remain any doubts about the ideological inclinations of the Press Club of India, here’s what their motivating statement also said, “Of late, Delhi Police, including its Special Cell, have made preposterous arrests under the lawless law called UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) in which the word of the government is enough to keep an innocent person behind bars for long periods. These have happened in matters relating to anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests and the carefully designed communal killings in the so-called February 2020 riots in northeast Delhi.”
Sources told TFIPOST that mostly ‘leftist journalists” are mounting tremendous pressure on media organisations and press bodies to issue statements in vigorous favour of Rajeev Sharma, who is previously said to have worked with organisations like The Quint, United News of India, The Tribune, and Sakaal Times. Sharma also runs a YouTube channel called ‘Rajeev Kishkindha’, which has over 12,000 subscribers, and the man has also regularly written opinion pieces for CCP mouthpiece Global Times.
A senior journalist arrested under Official Secrets Act.
Two days ago this very Govt advocated for Press Freedom !! https://t.co/t8xeDMgQCB
— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) September 18, 2020
Rajeev Sharma among other things is being accused of sharing troop movements at the border with the Chinese. How did a journalist have access to such sensitive information, that too with India’s James Bond, Ajit Doval in charge. Doesn’t add up. https://t.co/wBKN5YED9I
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) September 20, 2020
The behaviour of a section of Indian media and their paymasters after the arrest of Rajeev Sharma is intriguing, to say the least. It is a naked show of desperation and frustration, stemming perhaps from the fear of the deep Chinese nexus in Indian media getting exposed. The arrest of Rajeev Sharma might just turn out to be a window for the police and intelligence agencies to unearth the heavy involvement of Chinese cash in Indian media, and how certain journalists and media houses of the country have sold themselves to the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese involvement in Indian media must be probed diligently, and rest assured, going by the sellable commodities that some Indian journalists are; a deep rot in the country’s fourth estate will most definitely come to the fore.