Porngate: How BJP is turning the screws on TV

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?”

Also read: How BJP MLA blacked out newspapers, TV channels

7 Comments

  1. RAM SU

    The House Committee has the full right to put these valid questions! We can’t expect the Committee to just applaud the mischievous journalists whose intent was negative. I am not supporting the irresponsible behaviour of the concerned Ministers.

  2. The editors should tell them to go to hell and try to prosecute them if they felt they’ve done something wrong. Courts will have something to say about it.

    Besides, if you are inviting the press into the house, what are they to do? Let’s say if a MLA murders another, and TV crew exist, since it is ‘unparliamentary’, they are supposed to turn their face & cameras away?

  3. Let us wait for the outcome of this controversy between power of media and politicians.Who prevails, God knows?God rules this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anuj Wankhede

    The issue will get so muddied that people will either get bored or will forget about the main issue. Diverting attention and going tangetially is one of the oldest ploys used by politicians. The same thing is happening at Kundakulam – attention has got diverted to the NGO’s funding by foreigners while the core issue of nuclear safety has taken a backseat.

  5. JM

    ANSWERS

    # “What is the purpose of your organisation when securing entrance into the Assembly?”

    TO COVER PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE, BOTH WHAT THE HONOURABLE LEGISLATORS WERE EXPECTED TO DO, AND WHAT THE (DISHONOURABLE) ONES WERE NOT.

    # “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?”

    WITH DUE RESPECT, WE WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT THE FIRST SENTENCE ABOVE IS BASED ON AN ASSUMPTION ABOUT THE “PRIMARY DUTY” OF A JOURNALIST IN THE ASSEMBLY, AS ALSO ABOUT WHAT IS “UNNECESSARY” TO A JOURNALIST. THE “CORRECT”NESS WE LEAVE TO OUR READERS TO JUDGE, AND THE INTENTION WAS SOLELY TO INFORM THE CITIZEN ABOUT THE BEHAVIOUR OF THEIR REPRESENTATIVES IN THE RESPECTED ASSEMBLY.

    # “Without the Speaker’s permission, knowing that the visuals were unparliamentary, you have telecast it through the day. Is this right on your part?”

    THE VISUALS WERE MERELY A DEPICTION OF THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOME OF THE LEGISLATORS IN THE ASSEMBLY. WE SUBMIT THAT THE ACTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN AGAINST THOSE INDULGING IN UNPARLIAMENTARY BEHAVIOUR RATHER THAN THOSE SEEKING TO PROTECT THE DIGNITY OF THE HOUSE BY HIGHLIGHTING SUCH QUESTIONABLE BEHAVIOUR

    #”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?”

    IT IS SUBMITTED THAT THE RULES ARE MADE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE FUNCTIONING OF A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY, AND NOT TO HINDER THE FUNCTIONING OF THE MEDIA.

    #“Showing these kind of visuals could affect the viewers, so don’t you think you are violating the constitutional provision of freedom of expression?”

    THE VISUALS IN QUESTION WERE REPORTED ON IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CALLING INTO ACCOUNTABILITY THE ACTS OF PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVES WHILE IN THE ASSEMBLY.

  6. At least one thing we know for sure is the committee’s intent.

    I hear somebody go one step ahead of the committee and say ‘mischievous journalists’. Seriously?

  7. jayaraj

    Brilliant and smart move by BJP. This is what congress has been doing all these years, ‘fire the bullet on the accuser’.Media deserve this bcoz it is too much biased in favor of congress and against BJP.

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