I've not forgotten my journalism, When it was Congress' 10 years then too I've asked them strong questions. Maybe a lot more stronger than this Government. and now when this Government is there, My strong questions, my questions continues The difference is that when I question this Government, then I'm called a traitor My family is targeted Namaskar friends! Today I bring you a voice. The voice of a person who courageously asks questions to the people in power – Abhisar Sharma's voice In this 1st episode of "Bebak", you'll see the condition of Indian media and journalists under Modi's government How those journalists who courageously question the people in power how they are intimidated, threatened, how they are targeted by spreading fake news about them, propaganda about them how they are fired from their jobs, to the extent that they receive even death threats.
Their families too are threatened. You will be saddened to know that this is not limited to one or two journalists Almost every journalist who dares to question the current government faces such threats. The irony is that these journalists were the same ones who were bravely questioning the previous 10 years of congress rule too. Abhisar Sharma will now tell you lot of facts about such threats that'll alarm you. Let's see. You are Anti Modi "You are a naxalite" "You are anti Hindu" "You are a traitor to this nation" Yes, when propaganda is not working, then journalists who question Modi's government are targeted by such "brahmastras" (weapons) by BJP's IT / propaganda cell that you are a traitor to this nation and if you think I'm just talking about some tweets or merely spoken propaganda then you're mistaken. In fact, lists are made and circulated through social media like whatsapp to people that these people are traitor they are naxalites they are opposed to nation's development, bringing hurdles and what happens after that? What happens is that your telephone number is revealed Your phone receives incessant obscene and abusive calls.
Your family is targeted. Issue is not that. Issue is that if I have some issues in mind and if I question current government on those issues then you have right to question me back But that's not the problem. The problem is that in the name of journalists, in the name of Abhisar Sharma, in the name of Ravish Kumar, fake news is spread. I will tell you how. And then these people are targeted based on such fake news. I haven't forgotten how during the Kasganj incident how a news channel's yes-man anchor yes-man anchor of the government in power had lied that in Kasganj a muslim had opposed raising the tricolour / national flag.
But it was nonsense. Reality was that even that muslim was raising the flag in that square. I made a video blog. In it, I said what that anchor did is spreading fake news. What was the outcome? Outcome was that channel was forced to correct its mistake by sending a more responsible reporter
who then reported what actually happened. But what was happening in the public discourse friends? What was happening was that lies were being spread about me that I had celebrated the death of the Hindu boy, Chandan, who had died in Kasganj. Such lies were spread about me! And the result was that for 60 hours for 48-60 mins my phone was called incessantly and I was abused Nobody was ready to listen to my side , what I actually said Continuously my phone was ringing Today, for the first time,
I'm revealing to you the death threat call I received the death threat that I recorded I'm presenting to you Listen to this call and I'll explain to you how journalists who question current government face dilemmas face difficulties Listen…
Hello. [Death threat] "Abhisar Sharma…"
"how are you?" "Who's speaking?" "Speaking from (inaudible…Jammu?)" A-From where? Caller- "Look at the number, where it's from" A- what what is it? who are you brother? C- and very soon you are going to meet the 72 angels A- Where? Where am I going? You are going to the 72 angels in the paradise A- Okay, what are you threatening to kill me? A-what? C-You support Muslims so you will be going to meet the 72 angels A- Are you threatening to kill me? listen, If you are threatening to kill me then I can trace you even in Thailand A- Okay, Remember this, now your number has reached me C- Why do u support muslims? A- No No No, Now this number I'm going to forward it to Thailand police. A-Okay? Okay, what is your name? Now you…. C- My name is Abdul Ansari A- Are you not ashamed, you are threatening people of their lives on phone? C-You are, You should support Hindus A- Shameless person! It's not like I haven't complained to police I had reported it to my editor and to police but it's happened many times before that such fake news were spread about me and I'd get abused.
I had complained many times but police did not act on any of my complaints. So, you feel, what's the use of complaining? Similarly, other journalists too have faced such fake news spread about them and received such death threat calls Nowadays, when reporters go to report, they have to take along bouncers This is the inconvenience Ravish Kumar is facing Listen to this fellow who threatened to kill Ravish and even that threat was a result of fake news spread about Ravish Fake news that the rape of a Hindu girl had been justified by Ravish "That Swine Ravish Kumar, I'm warning you…" that you'll face death from my hands. I'll beat you mercilessly, and take you to pakistan where is your home A journalist is a journalist he/she's a newsperson, not a hanuman or batman. If you threaten them and they can defend themselves, they cannot defend themselves. It's not possible.They have their responsibilities they have to take care of their families they have to protect their children and today I want to make it clear that my primary duty in my life is to my family My career is a distant second If my family is threatened, then I'm ready to sacrifice my career to protect them.
Can you understand my dilemma? Do you understand that when you threaten people when you spread lies and fake news about them do you understand their consequences? And it's not even the most disappointing thing What is most disappointing is that
this fake news is spread by the IT cell of the party in power (BJP) They are the ones who are spreading such lies BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya himself had spread such fake news about some journalists I have to tell you one of my experiences with these people It was election time in Uttar Pradesh.
I remember at the time in front of a masjid Yogi Adityanath's followers started shouting slogans that "if you want to live in Gorakhpur, you have to chant Yogi Yogi" "If you want to live in Gorakhpur, you have to chant Jai shri Ram" I simply reported this news by tweeting it In reply, Amit Malviya said
"What is wrong in chanting jai shri ram and yogi yogi?… Nothing wrong in it
I replied "Nothing wrong, but imagine when you are in a temple and someone enters that temple says to you: If you want to live in Murshidabad, then you have to chant Allah ho Akbar
then how will you feel about it?" This is all I said to Amit Malviya
and immediately my phone number was again publicised and I received abusive calls asking
what kind of Hindu are you what is the defect in your birth that you question Hindu beliefs. In addition, anchors of a media channel's prime time programmes said Friends, tell us what should be done to such journalists who stand with traitors who oppose Modi's policies tell us what should be done to them Such things are fearlessly told! they are called Afzal (Guru's) fans they are called designer journalists simply because they question those in power and the result is that such journalists receive death threats Not only are they not protecting our lives but there are several examples where such journalists have difficulties getting jobs Two such examples, both are my good friends Rohini Singh, who reported on how Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah's turnover showed incredible increases.
She had reported on that She had made a report about Piyush Goyal's company. She is the very same journalist who had reported about Robert Vadra and 2G scam. When she was reporting on Robert Vadra and 2G scam, BJP was praising her. But as soon as she reported on Jay Shah and on Piyush Goyal, she was continuously targeted. She had told me "I don't want to work anywhere…"
because the kind of issues I'm reporting on no mainstream newspaper or mainstream news channel will carry my reports".
This is such a sad state of affairs A newspaper should have people with different views, with different kinds of reports but it feels as if in newspapers and news channels want only people with a particular bias. And they are not of the western thinking These are people who are thinking of their own self-interests. They are afraid of the government in power that's why they sing their praises. If this government goes away, they'll sing praises to the next government that comes to power. In 2012, in Ramlila Maidan, how Ramdev had to wear women's clothes and escape how Delhi police attacked Ramdev's gathering at night that night I had strongly questioned the government And what I had asked that day no other journalist has done so far. My guest was Lalu Prasad Yadav. I was continuously asking questions to Lalu Prasad Yadav But he wasn't answering my questions. I told him, Laluji I have no interest in your propoganda and I showed him the way out of the programme Lalu Prasad yadav that time was a strong UPA minister and politician Has anyone dared to show Lalu Prasad Yadav the way out of his show? LPY- The fight began here, Anna Hazareji came to make Lokpal bill, NDA, RSS, BJP, Sangh Parivar, Vishw Hindu Parisar Party A- Laluji LPY- Listen to this A- Laluji I don't wan to listen to your outline whatever you are saying, you have been saying this many a times in your political career since many years.
A- My question to you is yesterday on behalf of police don't you think isn't it was a an irresponsible behaviour in presence of children and women? LPY-See, Listen to me, women, kids even everyone from the electronic media were there and whatever happened or didn't happen. someone was hurt or not A- Laluji, Laluji I don't have time for your lecture because this isn't your political stage, thank you for making time for us. I would like to ask you Rashid Alvi Sahab, If central government sends the police troop at late night 1'o clock then what is the logic behind this? How can you stage such risk? How can you work late night? Didn'y you know that this is one such risk wherein women, kids could have been in danger?there could have been collateral damage? I would like to give one more example of my state of journalism.
During UPA government, Salman Khursheed was among the powerful ministers of that time. That time my partner Deepak Sharma and I did a story a against his NGO, a sting operation that time Salman Khursheed was addressing a press conference and in that press conference I asked him that till the time you are going to be on your position, how can this topic be investigated Salman Khursheed Sahab? You should resign from your post! this is how I jacked him. Can you imagine that can anyone question Piyush Goel like this? or to Amit Shah? because even we know that Amit Gadkari had to resign from his post during statue scam But Amit Shah hasn't resigned from his post So I showed you how I asked Lalu Prasad Yadav to leave from my show Now see, How did I question the most powerful minster of that time, Salman Khursheed.
A-How can we expect an independent inquiry when you continue to be the law minister Khursheed Sahab? K- If your Arun Puri continues to be.. A- You answer my question. K-No no you answer A- I'm asking you a simple question. K- I'm asking you a simple question A- My question to you is this K- My question is… A- Press conference is yours sir. K- Listen, are you here to ask me to leave? are you an activist or are you a journalist? I've not forgotten my journalism, When it was Congress' 10 years then too I've asked them strong questions.
Maybe a lot more stronger than this Government. and now when this Government is there, My strong questions, my questions continues The difference is that when I question this Government, then I'm called a traitor, My family is targeted. and wrong and fake propaganda are spread in my name and against my family. Time has changed in this way. and this is with all those journalist who questions this government. Today I would like to tell you one thing that the day when people in the power are stopped being questioned, that day the thing called democracy will be ended in this country completely.
It will be ruined completely and in this case mine and your existence will be nothing by a zero Journalists like me are working to keep your existence and for that journalists like me are criticising policies of the current government. Democracy is there because of such pressure groups because of such people who raises voices for common people, for the oppressed. and this government somewhere has this completely plan to accuse such journalists as the traitor and end their confidence. and bring forth their yes-man journalists I would like to say one thing in the end there's a journalist who has spent time in Tihar jail he was caught on the camera asking for bribe There's another journalist whose 500 minutes phone conversation with the arms dealer is been recorded.
Enforcement directorate wanted to investigate this but since this journalist is a Modi supporter journalist, Ministry of finance didn't allow this. Now you have decide does such journalist will be your idol? or those journalists who questions the present government? You have to decide. The Choice is yours! Namaskar.