Between an anchor and a producer

Posted: July 20, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

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.

  1. R. Mahendra Raj says:

    In fact I am also equally perplexed each time I read cases like this where the Indian media prides itself in naming the accused even before he or she is brought to the court of law- all in the name of news scoop. Of course, the media is at liberty to publish such stories but it should be morally responsible by not divulging the personal details of the ‘accused’. What if the court of law finds him or her not guilty? By then there will be enough collateral damage to the ‘accused’ person – his or social standing, career and family will be irreversibly affected. In Malaysia the media concerned can be sued for naming any accused well before he or she is charged formally in the courts. I was under the impression that both India and Malaysia share common fundamental British laws by virtue of being Commonwealth-member nations. Or is it that India is bent on showing the whole world that it is the largest democracy and, therefore, takes pride in media trials even though it is already being handled in the courts of law? Worse still is that the police makes public of the details of the accused immediately after being arrested and the investigations are still on-going. Perhaps the Indian Bar Council should clarify this anomalous situation.