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Opinion

Justice Denied! Why Republic TV’s Shivani Gupta was made to sit right next to one of her harassers by the NBSA?

This article is a must read for each and every Indian who don’t want to see the sisters of India get heckled, harassed publicly and yet the culprit walks free and succeeds in projecting himself as a victim.

Before jumping further into the issue, have a look at the video below:

The woman in the video is Republic TV’s News Editor Shivani Gupta and it was shot during the “Hunkar Rally” which was organised by Jignesh Mevani on 9th January 2018, against the Modi government. But the rally was super flop as there were more number of police than the protesters. After a particular juncture, the cops even withdrew 80 percent of their force due to poor attendance by the supporters of Jignesh Mevani.

When this was reported, the depressed fans of Jignesh Mevani attacked at Republic TV’s Shivani Gupta, that too front of camera. The situation got so worse that she had to be escorted away from the mob by the police.

Strangely, the man who was involved in harassing Shivani Gupta filed a complaint in NBSA against the Republic TV for exposing his inappropriate behavior. Arnab Goswami, while the video was aired where Shivani Gupta was harassed, said “I want their faces circled more. I want the family members of these cheap, perverse goons to watch their family members doing this … at this event which was the Jignesh flop show. Let’s name and shame these people”.

But the judgement was really shocking as the NBSA ordered that on 7.9.2018, Republic TV must run a full screen apology stating:

On the debate “Jignesh Flop Show” aired on Republic TV on 9.1.2018 at 9 PM, the channel had inadvertantly circled the visual of Mr A Singh, while running the pictures of its News Editor Ms Shivani Gupta being confronted by individuals present at the Jignesh Mevani Rally. It was a genuine error, an oversight by our video editor, and not intentional. Therefore, we wish to convey our regret for the error which we reiterate was unintentional”.

The above judgement by the NBSA itself was shocking but there was much more to come. The judgement continued that if the Republic TV failed to apologize on 7th of September, then on 14th of September it should apologize saying

“On the debate ‘Jignesh Flop Show’ aired on Republic TV on 9.1.2018 at 9 PM, this channel had circled the visual of A Singh (while running pictures) of its News Editor Ms Shivani Gupta as targeting and intimidating her. On a complaint by A Singh, News Broadcasting Standards Authority has passed an order dated 30.8.2018 holding that Mr Arnab Goswami, who anchored the programme, was not justified in using the words “I am going to show these crude, lewd hyenas/show the dirty faces of lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist, pervert anti-Indian goons” with reference to the complainant. NBSA further held that this channel had violated the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards of NBA and the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage and should, therefore, air an apology to Mr A Singh. Accordingly, we hereby apologise to Mr A Singh for wrongly referring to him as lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist, pervert, anti-Indian goon”.

The above judgement was indeed shocking because the video clearly showed what had happened with Shivani Gupta yet the NBSA wanted Arnab Goswami to air an apology for bashing the harassers.

Now don’t forget that The News and Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), which is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association, had an NDTV reporter on the panel. Now you can connect the dots.

How Shivani Gupta responded to the injustice done to her?

Anyone in Shivani’s place would have felt disappointed and disgusted on the orders passed by the NBSA. She bravely reiterated that she was heckled by the man in question throughout the day. The man had even instigated others, who later on made lewd gestures at her.

She even said that during the hearing she was made to sit right next to the man who harassed her. What was even shocking was that the wife of the harasser, who was not even present at the location, was allowed to attend the hearing and defend her husband.

When Opindia Editor Nupur Sharma contacted Arnab Goswami, he said “Republic and team will fight this unacceptable order of NBSA. We have written to NBSA. We are distressed that the harassment of Shivani by a bunch of perverts us being rationalised. The individual in question was harassing Shivani all day and incited the mob surrounding her. She had to be pulled out from the horrible situation by the Police. A vulgar mob was invited to heckle and invited by this man and Republic is asked to apologise? If this becomes a precedent, harassment, vulgar and lewd attacks will become normalised. I have fought fake news attacks by vested interests for long. That is water off a duck’s back. But this, we will not accept. We will not take this lying down and request NBSA for a review. I will personally appear before the NBSA if I need to. Every Republic professional is with us on this”.

When Rana Ayyub gets alleged threats online, even the United Nation experts ask the Modi govt to protect her:

You heard it right. The woman named Rana Ayyub, who most of the times had spread misinformation, said she received online threats, even the international organisation backed her. Few several Indian journalists spoke on it several times, but now they are nowhere found speaking on the harassment done against Shivani Gupta.

If this is the condition even after there was video evidence, then what would have been the verdict if there was no evidence at all?

Another thing that is easily understood is that few lobbies (are openly) trying to halt the popularity of Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV. The NBSA doesn’t have any problem with the cheap gestures made by the supporters of Jignesh Mevani but it has a problem when Arnab Goswami backs the victim.

This is really a dangerous development not just to the field of media but even to the nation. Tomorrow what if a comman woman gets harassed by the perverts? Will she and her family have to apologize to the shameless perverts?


Hansika Raj

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