Tag Archives: Vaishnavi Communications

Nakkheeran journo denies wife worked for Radia

When the central bureau of investigation (CBI) raided the offices and residences of disgraced telecom minister A. Raja‘s associates in mid-December, ostensibly to get to the bottom of the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Nakkheeran journalist A. Kamaraj found himself smack bang in the middle of a Tehelka story.

The latest issue of the magazine carries a letter from the journalist and a clarification from Tehelka correspondent Jeemon Jacob who reported the story.


Setting the record straight

Refer to Jeemon Jacob’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Loot’, 25 December.

My colleagues in Nakkheeran and I always held Tehelka in high esteem. We used to feel that there is a kindred spirit elsewhere too to bring out the truth against all odds. Our shared history of fighting for justice, truth and taking on the powers-that-be from the point of view of ordinary citizens should make us natural partners.

However, with enormous sense of hurt, I must point out that the piece carried by your esteemed publication has blatantly false and concocted news, causing irreparable damage to my name and professional standing as a journalist.

My residential flat was raided by the CBI on 15 December and nothing incriminating was found. The investigating officers took away the property document relating to my flat, the loan documents regarding the purchase of the same, my cell phone’s SIM card, passport and bank passbook. A document was issued regarding the items taken away. But Tehelka made the following harmful, totally manufactured claims:

1. My wife Jayasudha is the general manager of Niira Radia’s Chennai office.
2. The CBI had unearthed documents from my family residence in Perambalur relating to various financial dealings, including land transactions.
3. I was interrogated by the police in 1998 in connection with the murder of a police informer, Bhaktavatsalam, by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.

All these rather damaging false assertions could have been avoided if your reporter had bothered to check the facts. As a scribe, I always made myself available to any journalist in my two-and-a-half decades as a reporter and then as associate editor.

My wife has nothing to do with Radia, and for that matter has never been employed anywhere till date. The CBI did not search my family residence in Perambalur in the first place, let alone unearthing documents relating to any land transactions. And I was never ever interrogated by the police in connection with any aspect of Veerappan’s excesses.

A. Kamaraj, associate editor, Nakkheeran


Jeemon Jacob clarifies

1. My source had informed me that Jayasudha was working with Vaishnavi Communications. I cross-checked the information with two others who confirmed she was indeed working for Niira Radia’s firm. But I don’t have the documents to prove it. I admit I should have sought a response.

2. It is true that though Kamaraj’s Besant Nagar flat was raided, I had erroneously reported that there was a raid also at his Perambalur residence. I stand corrected.

3. In the well-known Bhaktavatsalam murder case, some Nakkheeran staffers were implicated and several employees, including senior editors like Kamaraj, were questioned by the Crime Branch in January 2003 in the course of the investigation.

Photograph: CBI officers at Nakkheeran associate editor A.Kamaraj‘s residence (courtesy Tehelka)

Also read: Journalist’s house raided in 2G spectrum scam


Why Ratan Tata hired Niira Radia’s services

In his open letter three days ago to Ratan Tata, the Rajya Sabha member with media interests, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, asked why a corporate house like the Tatas, “with its sterling character and reputation requires outside lobbyists to lobby on their behalf.”

In his open letter to Chandrasekhar, Tata provides the answer on the woman whose conversations with the bold-faced bylines have sent Indian journalism into a tizzy:

“Ten years ago, Tatas found themselves under attack in a media campaign to defame the ethics and value systems of the group which held it apart from others in India.

“The campaign was instituted and sustained through an unholy nexus between certain corporates and the media through selected journalists.

“As Tatas did not enjoy any such ‘captive connections’ in this environment, the Tata Group, had no option but to seek an external agency focused at projecting its point of view in the media and countering the misinformation and vested interest viewpoints which were being expressed.

Vaishnavi was commissioned for this purpose and has operated effectively since 2001. You yourself have interacted with Niira Radia on some occasions in the past and it is therefore amazing that you should now, after nearly nine years, seek to denounce Tatas’ appointment of Vaishnavi…. Vaishnavi is neither owned by the Tata Group nor is the Tata Group Vaishnavi’s only client.”

Read the full letter: From Ratan Tata. To Rajeev Chandrasekhar

‘The TV anchor; the ex-editor & TV personality’

It’s raining phone taps in India.

First Outlook* magazine reported that new technologies available with the UPA government enabled it to pluck mobile phone signals off the air and eavesdrop into conversations without seeking legal authorisation.

Then, The Pioneer reported that an authorised tap (since denied) had revealed PR honcho Neera Radia‘s nexus with A. Raja, the telecom minister in the thick of controversy over the auction of 2G spectrum.

Now, MiD-DaY tosses a couple of well-known journalists into the soup.

Quoting from 14 pages of documents that have been doing the rounds for months in Delhi, J. Dey reports:

“The documents talk about individuals influencing policy changes at the highest level. It also says that two senior journalists—one a well-known anchor of a national television channel and the other a former editor, columnist and TV personality—lobbied on behalf of industrialists to secure ministerial berths for friendly politicians.”

Yesterday, a newspaper editor, for whose publication the “former editor, columnist and TV personality” now writes a weekly column, put up the news on his Twitter account.

The Hindu put up the 14-page document purporting to be the transcript of the intercepted phone conversations on its website before taking it off.

But one of the two journalists mentioned in the documents has thought it fit to respond, again on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Tata Sons, which is represented by Neera Radia, has issued a press statement through her agency neucom consulting.

“The Tata group has had a long and fruitful association with Vaishnavi Corporate Communications and its chairperson Ms Niira Radia (sic), which has added substantial value to the group’s communications and public perception.

“All of Vaishnavi’s interactions with the government on behalf of the Tata group have been related to seeking a level playing field and equity in areas where vested interests have caused distortions or aberrations in policy.

“Further Vaishnavi’s interactions with the Government on behalf of the Tata group, have, in keeping with Tata values, never involved payouts or seeking undue favors.”

Newspaper facsimile: courtesy MiD-DaY

Read the full article: Tap worm in India Inc

* Disclosures apply