It is a classic case of Goliath versus David playing out, this time in the studios of a TV channel.
Pepsi Uma, a TV show anchor, charged that TV producer Saravanarajan abused with innuendo.
The producer is alleged to have been relentless in his comments even after warnings (as the news reports would have us believe) and the anchor reported the matter to the police who arrested the producer under Section 294(b) of the Indian Penal Code, (1860! (b) sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.]. Some unspecified sections of the Tamil Nadu Women Harassment Act were also slapped on the producer.
When a much hyped anchor makes a public charge against an unknown professional, and the Establishment begins to bulldoze him one knows what to expect.
The Indian Express, in its headline has chosen to declare the accused guilty by saying, LEWD COMMENTS ON ANCHOR LANDS (SIC) TV PRODUCER IN SOUP . (See link at end of post) (‘Comments’ is plural and for subject verb agreement the verb should be ‘land’)
I responded to the e-version with my experience of Saravanarajan as a producer, as I have known him for more than ten years in that capacity. But my comment has been stifled in the pretext of moderation.
The media has no qualms in branding a man as having committed a crime even before the charge has been proven. While it will pass this judgement, it won’t allow others, readers, to express their view about the personalities involved without implying anything about the facts of the case in question! What justice, what fairplay, what standards of journalism!
While I do not know what really transpired between the anchor and the producer (mutual incompatability can lead to piquant situations), it is as important to see that the reputation of a good media professional like Saravanarajan is not damaged even as we must ensure that a woman is not harassed.
While it is true that I do know Saravanarajan, he has nothing to do with this post. He is a humble and honest man and am sure will weather the storm on his own. But as a person concerned for the well-being of individuals of substance in our society, I have to raise my voice.