Last year in January, Vivek Doval, the son of NSA Ajit Doval, filed a criminal defamation case against the senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and The Caravan Magazine in Patiala House court for allegedly publishing a defamatory article against him. He had also filed a criminal defamation case against Kaushal Shroff – the author of the article.
After almost two years, the senior Congress leader has realized that he made allegations in heat of the moment and “independent verification” of the claims made in the article. “I understand these statements have hurt you deeply. I want to clarify that these statements or accusations, were made drawing conclusions from an article that was published the previous day in the Caravan magazine. As the case progressed, I realized that perhaps some independent verification may have been in order. However, the General Elections were close, and the questions raised in the article seemed appropriate for being highlighted in public. In retrospect, I may have gone overboard in making certain insinuations against you and your family,” Ramesh wrote in his letter to Vivek.
The case was filed after The Caravan Magazine came up with a story claiming that Doval was involved in running a hedge fund whose promoters were of dubious antecedents. In the complaint against Jairam Ramesh, The Caravan, and Kaushal Shroff, Vivek Doval addressed every allegation made by the magazine in the article, and sued Ramesh and the publication for having “deliberately maligned and defamed” him “seemingly to settle scores with his father”. The statements of Amit Sharma and Nikhil Kapoor, Vivek Doval’s partners were also recorded.
Given that Jairam Ramesh has already realized his folly and apologized, it is time for The Caravan to do the same. However, the magazine and the writer of the story have not apologized yet, but they will be forced to do so very soon by the court because the story has no substance and it was done with malicious intentions to defame NSA Ajit Doval and the Modi government before the 2019 general election.
The Caravan Magazine is a habitual offender and comes up with one or other article in every issue which is done purely with the aim to defame the Modi government.
It was started by Delhi Press in 1940 and its editorial line adhered to the Nehruvian model of socialism and secularism. The magazine operated till 1988 and catered mainly to high-level bureaucrats and left-liberal establishment of the country. It was an ardent supporter of the Soviet Union and as the people’s faith in communism started diminishing, the readership of the magazine also went down. The financial support which these publications received from the Soviet Union was stopped in the 1980s as the Soviet economy collapsed.
The magazine could not survive for long and was shut down in 1988, three years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Delhi Press was and is one of the largest publishers in the country with more than 35 publications but it could not take the financial burden of The Caravan. Now, Delhi Press is mainly known for magazines like Mukta, Champak, Grihshobha, Woman’s Era, Suman Saurabh and Saras Salil which are mainly issued for children and women.
The Founder of the magazine and Chief of Delhi Press, Vishwa Nath died in 2002. Anant Nath, the grandson of Vishwa Nath, a post-graduate from Columbia University, took over the post of director of Delhi Press in August 2005. After almost four years of taking over the position of director of Delhi Press, junior Nath decided to revive The Caravan Magazine.
He chose Vinod K Jose, another graduate of Columbia University as the Executive Editor of The Caravan while his father holds the position of Editor-in-Chief and he took the designation of an editor at the magazine. The magazine came in the fine print with its first issue in January 2010. Since then it has served the cause of ‘left’ in India with its monthly issues. From 1940 to 1988, it had served the cause of ‘left’ but in its new avatar, the magazine added an additional trait – Anti-Hindu agenda.
The Executive Editor of The Caravan Magazine is a vocal supporter of separatist like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Afzal Guru, the mastermind of 2001 Indian parliament attacks.
He was questioned by the Crime Branch in New Delhi for the articles he had written in support of Geelani and Afzal Guru. He opposed the death penalty to terrorists and released a statement seeking clemency for Afzal Guru “I don’t want a fellow Indian to get the death penalty” read his statement.
Neither The Caravan magazine nor its Executive Editor is averse to imaginatively creating ‘sources’ and ‘facts’ which exactly suit their current agenda-driven journalism, as they have shown in many stories including the ones on Judge Loya and Vivek Doval. But, given the fact Jairam Ramesh has already apologized for quoting The Caravan’s Doval story, the leftist media house would now be under enormous pressure to apologize to Doval.