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“NDTV Frauds” more of appeasement and rage against channel

Subramanian Swamy, a politician who is serving as a member of the Rajya Sabha will launch a book written by Sree Iyer on Thursday. The book is based on the dirty run-throughs of media houses, in concert with obliging politicians and bureaucrats. It is supposed to be full of revelations. The book was released few days ago in New Delhi but I am wondering why NDTV was not been booked for indulging in so many fraudulent activities. Why Swamy did not initiate any inquiries as he had done in the past cases? Can we expect the arrest of Prannoy Roy after the launch of book in Mumbai? Or will it be leading to pure fiction? Moreover, the question which arises here is, why did the author categorically choose NDTV? Just because BJP and its supporters at large dislike NDTV and its two prominent faces, former editor Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar? They are always under attack. The filth spread about these channels and its people is beyond imagination.

‘NDTV Frauds’ is a book, exposing the frauds, corruption, and unholy nexus in the Indian media world. Time and again many writers attacked Indian media for yellow journalism to various practices, tagging them from presstitutes to Baazaru. In the recent past, media has been accused of being paid media. Few channels enjoy the favour of BJP supporters as they have become the latter’s mouthpiece. Even these channels heads were caught in corruption and extortion and had legal battle. Anyway, from few years the perception of looking at media has changed.

Let’s comes back to “NDTV fraud” written by Sree Iyer, this book is a narrative of how two Promoters of NDTV along with key top management conspired over the years with government functionaries and politicians to break laws, evade taxes and deceive shareholders of a public listed company. All this obviously through political patronage and “wheeling-and-dealing” as a part of the Lutyens club, and how they created a biased public discourse for a select elite class. The author feels that, in the minds of the Indian citizen, there is a space and vast respect for the media. Using the halo of journalism and under the garb of Freedom of Press, media owners misusing their position and in the end, degrade the values of journalism.  On several occasions, media willingly became the tool of false propaganda, blackmailing and illegal money-making, all with the blessings of coarse politicians and corporate icons with hidden agendas. This deserves to be exposed and that is the reason for writing this book. In just 160 pages, Iyer exposes, with all documents, the money siphoning activities of NDTV owners, Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy. Surprisingly, none of them challenged the content published in the book or they might act when time comes, as there is no legal action or inquiry set against the channel believing this book. Though, the book has been in the news for some weeks now. The hilarious part of the book is that, they also raised a question that how did NDTV get licenses in 2003 for a TV channel when the BJP-led government was in power and NDTV was cruelly criticizing then BJP’s Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from 2002 onwards for the riots in his State? This is a moral question for the BJP’s leadership in Delhi. NDTV is the only channel who attacked Narendra Modi for his role in killings of Muslims in Gujarat riots. This channel always had anti-Modi stand and in the recent past it has become anti-BJP.

The author has made every attempt to please his bosses and his favourite political party. There are many news channels and newspapers, worth exposing, but the credibility of the book comes under question when it categorically chose to rip one particular channel. Anyway, if frauds are happening that has to be exposed by whomsoever it is. But my point is that NDTV is not alone or rarest of the rare. The book expresses the bias of the author.

Another question, how did NDTV get a license when its promoter, Prannoy Roy, was named in an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for siphoning funds of Doordarshan in 1998?  It’s been three long years BJP is in power and the party was very strong as an opposition, why NDTV was not banned or booked for the frauds it had committed? Why BJP is silent and why Subramanian Swamy did not act as he has revealed various cases. Despite knowing the fact that the NDTV is fraudulent why did BJP leaders appear on its TV shows and debates? Unfortunately, today, siphoning money from banks, manipulating the share prices in Stock Exchange are the preferred goals of most media owners, not the delivery of news to the masses, not creation of social or political narratives, not debating the national agenda. There are attacks against opponents by spinning or creating fake news. Top journalists and media owners connive with politicians and industrial icons to build images or tarnish images, all of which is detailed in the book.

New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) is a media company founded in 1988 by couple Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. On 20 January 1998 Central Bureau of Investigation filed cases against New Delhi Television (NDTV) Managing Director Prannoy Roy, Former Director General of Doordarshan R. Basu and five other top officials of Doordarshan under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. According to the CBI charge-sheet, Doordarshan suffered a loss of over Rs. 35.2 million due to the “undue favours” shown to NDTV as its programme The World This Week (TWTW) was put in ‘A’ category instead of ‘special A’ category. NDTV allegedly laundered Rs. 5,500 crore by raising funds through “private placements”, from undisclosed investors in NDTV subsidiaries based in UK and Holland. The sums raised by it through dubious investors not only paid off its Rs. 3,500 crore liability but left an amount in excess of Rs. 2,000 crore to be transferred to another account. These funds were transferred to a Mauritius-based NDTV subsidiary. These funds were then routed to several other NDTV subsidiaries in India.

NDTV also showed false exports to Star TV in Hong Kong under section 80 HHF of the Income Tax Act. This act defrauded the government of revenue worth at least Rs. 300 crore at present value. NDTV claimed illegal income tax deductions without making any actual exports and by bringing in Indian rupees instead of foreign exchange as stipulated in supporting judgements. This deduction was allowed by an Income Tax officer Sumana Sen (IRS 99005) whose husband, Abhisar Sharma, has been an employee of NDTV, a fact that she had concealed all through her employment.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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