In the aftermath of the assault on media-persons that took place in the Ottapalam court premises on Tuesday in Kerala, mainstream media in the state were quick to condemn the attack.
The perpetrators of the said crime allegedly owed allegiance to the saffron party and had taken umbrage at the media which had gathered there when police produced six BJP workers arrested in connection with post-assembly poll clashes in Nellayi in court.
With mainstream media coming down heavily on the same, journalists associated with Janam TV -affiliated to the BJP and RSS - took to Facebook to register their concern for the reportedly blatant bias shown by the media in Kerala.
AN Abhilash –a reporter for Janam TV- posted on Facebook that the media chose to highlight or downplay attacks on journalists based on the colour of the flag, hinting at deep-rooted political bias in this regard.
Midhun Kalyani -another journalist from the same organisation- too wrote on his timeline that they too have borne the brunt of attacks on media-persons, yet the blood they shed apparently had a political colour to it.
Responding to the accusation, N Padmanabhan -former general secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ)- was quick to dismiss such allegations as utterly baseless ones. “The views expressed by someone in Janam TV is never taken seriously, at least in Kerala, as we all know that Janam TV serves as a mere stooge for the RSS, BJP and the VHP. The media here has always been in the forefront to condemn any attacks on its members and this has got absolutely nothing to do with an individual’s personal political affiliations,” he said.
Speaking to The News Minute, C Rahim – KUWJ Thiruvananthapuram district president- too reiterated that the colour of the flag had nothing to do with protecting the interests of journalists as a whole in Kerala. “Anyone working in the media is aware that the moment news that goes against the interest of someone or something is out, he or she becomes a potential target. The media in Kerala have faced assaults by various political parties –be it the Left or the BJP or the Congress- over the years, depending on whose feathers were ruffled at any given point of time. And whenever that has happened, the media here has never lost time in registering their strong protests in the matter. This has nothing to do with political beliefs. We need to ensure a safe working environment for journalists, irrespective of who is in power. That is what goes on to contribute to a functional democracy.”