Dinamalar Tamil Daily is a Pro-nuke media. And it used to publish the news items with a willful intention to defame the protesters and leaders of the people's movements.
On 24-11-11, Dinamalar published a front page news-like material, which states the leaders of people's movements are inviting the queries from the common public, without the consent of the leaders. And Dinamalar published the addresses, email ids & contact numbers of the leaders which amounts the trespassing of their privacy. This unethical and illegal activity of Dinamalar caused many problems to the people's leaders.
In this scenario, the "LAWYERS’ CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS" filed a complaint before the Press Council of India. The copy the complaint is given below.
LAWYERS’ CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Date : 25.11.2011
Press Council of
Sub.: Publication of front page news item by “Dina Malar” a Tamil daily on 24.11.2011, instigating physical violence and humiliation against three leading personalities spearheading the agitation against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu–requesting immediate action to curb the menace by the said daily as well as other print media–Reg.
Ours is an organization of lawyers practicing at the Madras High Court formed to espouse the Constitutional ideals principally aimed at striving for political, economic and social justice as enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of India and broader human rights.
As far as we are concerned, we view the protests and resistance to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project as a spontaneous peoples’ movement in a democracy, where the issues raised by them need to be addressed in a more concerned and accommodative manner. That apart, it is everyone’s knowledge that Kudankulam issue is the only real issue the people of Tamilnadu are witnessing and it needs due importance.
Whileso, we were terribly shocked to read a top front page news item published in the Tamil daily, “Dina malar”, in its edition dated 24.11.2011 under the caption, which could be translated in English as, “Why do we oppose Kudankulam Nuclear Plant?” The said news item carried a sub title stating, “Protestors are ready to offer explanation”. A reading of both the caption and the sub title suggest that the news item seeks to report the willingness of the protestors against the project to explain their stand. The news would not surprise anyone if its content justifies the caption and the sub-title given to it.
Unfortunately, it was not the case! The news item did not say that the protesters have either issued a statement justifying the caption or given an interview to that effect.
Shockingly, the news item begins abruptly with a self-posed question that when the plant is about to be commissioned to benefit the people of Tamil Nadu, whether the protests were justified. It charges the protestors for claiming that their protest was only for the benefit of the Tamil people.
After having given such an intro(duction) in the lead paragraph, the news item prompts the readers to contact (the leading protestors) over the one rupee coin box PCO to their phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Following this, the news item has furnished personal details of three persons (along with photographs) among the leading protesters with a tinge, suggesting to the readers that they are undesirable elements. Apart from their background, the details of the family, including children of one among them, has been provided in the news item.
The news item also carried their respective contact numbers, landline and mobile, and their e-mail addresses. Specific details with regard to their residence and office have also been highlighted in the said news item.
The news item also specifically and pointedly indicates as to the place where they could be seen and met.
While providing the background, provocative inputs have been deliberately incorporated so as to tune the readers to identify them as traitors, receiving funds from abroad.
The whole news item paints the said 3 persons as agents of some foreign force to stall the project.
The inescapable conclusion one would arrive at after reading the said news item would be that these protesters have to be “taught” a lesson, i.e., the news item was published only with the sole intention and object of putting the persons described therein to the risk of their life and limbs. To put it more bluntly, except expressly suggesting to physically harm those protesters, the news item conveyed the message. The publication of the said news item as the top front page by the said daily is clearly indicative of its intention to instigate the readers to “react” in the way the Daily expects them of.
On reading the same, we are unable to restrain ourselves from approaching you for taking up the matter in all its seriousness and to proceed against the said daily.
We genuinely feel that in a democracy, one can have any opinion on any subject but there are ways and means to express their opinion. At the same time, it is more important that one cannot unleash violence against violence who is holding a view contrary to his.
The case of “Dinamalar” may be that it wants to support the Kudunkulam Nuclear Power Project which can be assessed by the views expressed by it. However, the abuse of freedom of the press by it to instigate violence against those holding contrary news is impermissible under the Constitution of India and other laws.
On enquiry, we learn that on publication of the abovesaid news item, there had been a flurry of telephonic calls to all the three persons and their family members mentioned in the news item, filled with obscene comments and brutal threats to their life. This has also been put in public domain by the persons concerned in an interview to a private television channel. It is in this context, we would like to draw your kind attention to the flagrant violation of press freedom by the Tamil daily “Dinamalar”.
Therefore, we hereby request you to initiate appropriate action against the Tamil daily “Dinamalar” and also, issue appropriate directions to initiate criminal action against those responsible for publication of the said news item.
(S. SATHIA CHANDRAN) (C. VIJAYAKUMAR)
Joint Secretary Secretary