AHMEDABAD: Does ‘Janwano Haq,’ a weekly programme on RTI, telecast by Doordarshan-Ahmedabad violate the model code of conduct? Strangely, for two weeks, it has not been aired citing that it does.
Add to it a UPA spin. The programme, which showcases RTI success stories, has been mysteriously stopped saying it violates the code of conduct as RTI is a UPA achievement!
When enquired, officials in Delhi DD said this was a unilateral decision taken from Ahmedabad. According to them, so far they have neither received any communication from the Election Commission nor any political party regarding the content of its episodes. “Show us one episode where we have said that RTI is a UPA achievement. We have kept the content of these RTI programmes strictly non-political, focusing on people’s achievement with RTI,” they said.
RTI activist Harinesh Pandya said, “Janwano Haq is not a political programme. Stopping it citing code of conduct is an act without application of mind.”
Station director, DD-Ahmedabad, Tejendrasingh Gagan though denied that the telecast has been stopped due to code of conduct. “After we got calls from some people, we stopped the telecast. It will be started soon after a review,” he said, but did not elaborate on who actually called.
According to sources in DD-Ahmedabad, Gagan, who has recently taken charge, could have been acting on the advice of news director Dhiraj Kakadia.
Incidentally, Kakadia is a member of the three-member committee which is to scan all advertisements before being released to any media for elections.
Is it that ‘some people’ referred to by Gagan are Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s men pulling in old favours to get the programme off air?
It appears that Kakadia and Modi go back a long way since the time Modi was exiled to Delhi and Kakadia underwent a training stint there. Kakadia, while denying any involvement in the programme going off air said, “I should not be judged by what others say, just look at actions taken by me over the last eight months.”
Ahmedabad: Doordarshan-Ahmedabad resumed the telecast of ‘Janwano Haq’ the popular show on Right to Information (RTI) from Monday. TOI had carried a report on Sunday about how DD Ahmedabad had suspended the telecast citing the election code of conduct. DD officials on Monday however, “set aside” what they had claimed to be the “difficulties in procedural review” to ensure telecast of the show at its scheduled time on Monday evening.
It may be noted that DD Ahmedabad had earlier suspended the telecast of this weekly show on the premise of a strange logic that as the programme showcased RTI success stories, and since RTI was a UPA government initiative, it violated the election code of conduct. Considering the fact that DD bosses here have to report to the UPArun central government, this decision was weird.
Ahmedabad station director Tejendrasingh Gagan held a meeting of his officers and issued instructions to ensure if not a fresh episode but at least an old episode is aired. Subsequently an old episode was aired. When contacted Gagan said that the lapse that had happened has now been rectified. “I am all for RTI, transparency and accountability Well informed people are truly empowered, they will not spare anybody,” he said.
According to RTI Activist Harinesh Pandya, the TOI report has caused the desired impact. “People from far flung areas wait expectantly for the show to be telecast every week, we at Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP) welcome this re-think on part of DD Ahmedabad officials” said Pandya.