Malayalam news channel Asianet News has landed in the soup yet again – this time due to one of its senior journalists calling all Bengalis ‘Pakistanis’ and saying that a few ‘Sanghis’ getting thrashed and killed in West Bengal was not newsworthy. P R Praveena, reportedly the daughter of senior Kerala Congress leader P Ramani has been caught spreading vitriol against Bengalis and BJP supporters. The recording was obtained by a viewer, who had dialled Asianet News to enquire as to why the mass violence and targeted killings of BJP workers by TMC goons was not being extensively covered by the news channel.
The journalist was heard as saying, “We are not covering Bengal deliberately. Covid is the only thing that we are up against. Our relatives, our friends, our neighbours are dying because of Covid and we do not have even enough space to bury people. There is no use showing some Sanghis in Bengal being attacked.” The viewer then asked if Bengalis are not Indians. “No, no, they are from Pakistan,” the journalist shot back saying.
Posting the voice clip, as received. It's in Malayalam. pic.twitter.com/Cx3lqJmYLt
— Padma Pillai (@lotophagus) May 7, 2021
Asianet News has since apologised for one of its senior employees’ remarks against Bengalis and BJP supporters. The news outlet said that such inappropriate conduct on part of their employee was not acceptable. The channel has also said that they have taken appropriate action over the matter.
— Asianet News (@AsianetNewsML) May 7, 2021
As it turns out, BJP Rajya Sabha MP and the party’s national spokesperson Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the Chairman of Jupiter Entertainment Ventures which holds the highest stake in Asianet News. That such distasteful remarks were made against BJP supporters on such a channel has indeed surprised many.
The remarks by the Asianet News journalist have exposed the inner sentiments of liberals against BJP supporters. According to liberals, the suffering of the people of West Bengal is hardly newsworthy content. It is important to note that multiple liberal ideologues have remained indifferent towards the mass violence and extremism being perpetrated on the streets of Bengal by the goons of one particular party.
Multiple BJP workers and supporters have fled the state of West Bengal for Assam. Over 450 people are being provided refuge in Assam’s Dhubri. They fear persecution in their home state, and visuals of mass violence in West Bengal has only exacerbated their fears. The BJP has claimed that the numbers of people fleeing Bengal out of fear of the TMC are in the thousands.