It is a reflection of the kind of pressure being mounted on the media these days that the spotlight in the “Karnataka Porngate” scandal—in which BJP ministers and MLAs were caught watching a porn clip on their mobile phones in the legislative assembly—is on the media rather than the erring legislators.
Laiqh Khan and Sudipto Mondal report in The Hindu on the questions posed by a house committee to the editor of a Kannada TV channel, which telecast the clip, resulting in three ministers resigning from the cabinet. The opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) boycotted the committee.
Among the 15 queries:
# “What is the purpose of your organisation when securing entrance into the Assembly?”
# “Instead of recording the proceedings of the Assembly, your journalist forgot his primary duty and recorded indecent and unnecessary things on his camera. Is this correct? What was the intention behind this?”
# “Without the Speaker’s permission, knowing that the visuals were unparliamentary, you have telecast it through the day. Is this right on your part?”
#”Don’t you know that what you have done is a violation of rules 6, 17 and 20 of the Karnataka vidhana soudha press gallery rules?”
#“Showing these kind of visuals could affect the viewers, so don’t you think you are violating the constitutional provision of freedom of expression?”