It is not every day that legislators cutting across political lines agree on a single issue. This rare sight was spotted at the Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday, when politicians, irrespective of their affiliations, agreed that the media had ruined their lives.
Having exerted enough pressure on speaker KB Koliwad, the latter announced the formation of a House Committee that will suggest measures to monitor and regulate media. The New Indian Express reports that the committee will be constituted in another two days, after which, a report will be submitted within a period of 15 days.
Stating that the sensationalism of the electronic media was leading to character assassination, Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) MLA B R Patil raised the issue in the assembly.
Appealing to speaker KB Koliwad, the MLA said, “Please give us protection from electronic media or else we cannot continue in public life." Saying that the competition for TRPs had ruined their lives, MLA Patil claimed that he had been a victim of media sensationalism in two instances in the past.
KS Puttannaiah of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha invoked an incident from last year, when certain television news channels reported that a crow perched on CM Siddaramaiah's car was a bad omen. Soon, it was BJP MLA Suresh Gowda's turn to play the victim of media freedom. Recently, a CCTV footage of the MLA allegedly assaulting a toll booth manager had gone viral. Referring to the incident, Suresh Gowda claimed that he was only angry at the toll booth manager, that unfairly earned him the title of being a "rowdy MLA."
"Politicians have become punching bags for media. But has anyone thought how some journalists have managed to build palatial houses?" Congress MLC V S Ugrappa was quoted as asking by TOI.
Congress MLA NA Haris demanded the formation of Press Council of Karnataka on the lines of Press Council of India, to make the media houses accountable for their actions.