We want to talk about some of our reports, the first of which dealt with the coal scam. We were the first in the country to publish it. Before this we had published the Ranganath Mishra Committee report and given a challenge that the Government should say this report was false and a lie. There was a lot of hullabaloo in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over this report. Ultimately, for the first time in the history of the Lok Sabha, 45-50 Parliamentarians stood up with the ‘Chauthi Duniya’ newspaper and asked the Prime Minister to reply to the questions raised in it. The Prime Minister had to give an assurance that he would put the report of the Ranganath Commission report on the floor of Parliament and the Ranganath Mishra Commission report came in front of the people. It is another matter that the Government has not take any action on the recommendations of the report. In the same manner, we were the first to bring the coal scam to light and we said that it was a scam of 26 lakh crores.
It was when we published this report that the gaze of the political parties fell on it. The Public Accounts Committee started investigating it. The Supreme Court took this very seriously and today the coal scam has become the biggest corruption issue in the country, on which the Goverment is telling lie after lie. Files go missing from Government custody and the Government does not get to know. As if someone came strolling and picked up the files and walked away. This is the state of that Goverment which is surrounded by Pakistani and Chinese informers and it is unable to find out who within the Government is a Pakistan informer and who is a China informer. There are many secret-service agencies working in India, amongst which are MOSSAD, ISI, CIA, and the weakest of all Russia’s KGB – is there too. Out of these, who has which officer working for it and who has which Minister can’t be made out, but the result is before one that files disappear from the Ministry. It is a coincidence that the Supreme Court adopted a tough stance on this and an FIR was filed about this, otherwise how many files on sensitive subjects would reach foreign powers, reach our enemies, cannot be said.
We were the first ones to reveal that the former Chief of the Army, General V.K. Singh, was offered a bribe of 14 crore rupees. Its an interesting fact that a lot of hullabaloo was created, eyebrows were raised, the CBI was entrusted with the task of investigation, and the CBI says that because the CD that they were given was corrupted, they did not gain any information. One cannot understand this argument because technology is so advanced these days that if anything is on a hard disk, has been recorded, then it can be recovered. Why did the CBI not do this? It can be surmised that the arms dealers who can be seen roaming in South Block, who have suites in five star hotels, who throw big parties, of whom some are inside and some are outside, in whose contact there are the sons and daughters and sons-in-law of Ministers, perhaps all those people have more weightage than the secret service agencies of the Government of India and the honour of the Government of India.
The Indian Government wanted to make the Aadhar card mandatory. The entire budget for this Aadhar card was ruinously wasted right and left by Nandan Nilekani and he spent the past four years living like the son-in-law of the Government. Now he wants to enter Parliament through the Rajya Sabha. It is evident that some people have benefitted by a thousand to two thousand crore rupees because of Nandan Nilekani. They would surely want to bring him to the Rajya Sabha.
We have also published in our newspaper a list of which big industrialists are regularly giving money to Naxalite organisations. The Government is sitting over this report with its eyes closed. The Opposition too is silent on it. We were the first to publish a report on UID i.e., the Aadhaar card in which we said that the decision to get Aadhar cards made was for the benefit of foreign companies. Was done for foreign secret agencies and the expenses were paid with our blood and sweat earnings by the Government of India. A budget of 60 thousand crores was kept aside for the Aadhar cards, which decision was not taken in Parliament, but by an executive order. 60 thousand crores went down the drain in one jerk and huge advertisements and campaigns were launched on the importance of the Aadhar card. We said repeatedly that money was being eaten and the people with whose help these Aadhar cards were being made, there was no reliability about them. The Aadhar cards were made from wrong addresses, in wrong names and from wrong places. The cards that were made did not have any credibility but right or wrong data reached the hands of foreign marketing companies and foreign secret agencies.
We also expressed a doubt that if ever a decision was taken in the country to massacre Muslims, then the data in the Aadhar card would provide a guide-map to them. We are happy that in the same manner that the Supreme Court has kept the coal scam under its strict supervision, in the same way it has given an important decision that the Aadhar card is not mandatory. This has once again proved us right. The Indian Government wanted to make the Aadhar card mandatory. The entire budget for this Aadhar card was ruinously wasted right and left by Nandan Nilekani and he spent the past four years living like the son-in-law of the Government. Now he wants to enter Parliament through the Rajya Sabha. It is evident that some people have benefitted by a thousand to two thousand crore rupees because of Nandan Nilekani. They would surely want to bring him to the Rajya Sabha.
We are talking of these reports not only because we published about 80 reports before them which were not only the first in the country but also because they shocked those people who genuinely wanted to know the news and the reasons behind such news. Today, when there are bribes in journalism to benefit some people and suppress the interest of some people, giving it the label of journalism of courage, the journalism of middlemen is being carried on. In the midst of this we do not have people amongst our colleagues who will oppose such journalism, and then one feels that this is a monster of journalism which will eat us up. Then we feel that we have forgotten the story and the truth of the story that an ant can very easily kill an elephant. Such journalism should be opposed but I don’t believe those who are not opposing it are cowards, but they are certainly disheartened and disappointed at this state of journalism. To all such disheartened and disappointed journalists it is our request that if the clouds of disappointment are not removed today, tomorrow the clouds of disappointment will turn into a storm of disappointment.
The matter of greatest regret is that the newspaper that had been honoured for Shri Ramnath Goenka upholding the highest ideals of journalism and the newpaper that had been miles away from flattery of those in power, and that Ramnath Goenka who never believed in power as his ideal, it is under the leadership of that same Ramnath Goenka’s heir that the newspaper is being run. And this newspaper is now not only pandering to those in power, but all its reports go against the standards of journalism and seem to be published in favour of corruption. Those who are trying to speak against corruption, it seems to be running a campaign against them. Now, this newspaper does not have any thing to do with the problems of the people. Now, this paper has nothing to with Ramnath Goenka’s ideals. Now, this paper is proceeding with the kind of journalism which has money in it. Whether that money comes from brokering, whether it comes through mediating in arms deals or whether it comes from writing reports in favour of foreign powers.
The good thing is that the majority of journalists in this newspaper are against this policy of their newspaper. When several people from this newspaper meet us then they tell us that they do not have any interest or involvement with this kind of journalism, they are just doing a job. It is true that in today’s time of capitalism and rising prices, a job is a big thing. But one’s conscience and ideals of journalism do also have some place in life. Those who want purity in journalism, they must in some way make this voice heard, so that the journalism of liasoning and treason can be reined in.