PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Four months after the “nasty jolt” in the 2009 general election (RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat‘s description of the debacle), the BJP continues to be in a flap over the role of “friendly journalists” in its defeat—and after.
Twice the party’s resident intellectual “for all matters requiring an IQ of 60”, Arun Shourie has trained his guns at the “Gang of Six”, once at the party’s national executive meeting and then in his NDTV interview with Indian Express editor Shekhar Gupta .
On top of that, the “accused” journalists have been at each other throats unabashedly.
Now, the BJP’s official party mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh, edited by Prabhat Jha, a former journalist, has weighed in on “‘friendly journalists’, who cannot remain ‘insider’ for too long”, adding that the access and respect the journalists enjoy with senior leaders of the party causes envy among party workers.
An editorial in the journal makes the following points, according to The Pioneer, the Delhi daily edited and owned by Chandan Mitra, a Rajya Sabha member nominated by the BJP:
“There are journalists who wish that BJP should run as per their whims. Any person — journalist included — has a right to offer advice and opinion but how can it be that a political party should follow, without exception, the diktats of some journalists. If that doesn’t happen, the political organisation turns bad in their considered opinion….
“A scenario in which journalists should turn a tool in the hands of an individual politician does not augur well for either of the two. Our effort should be to create a healthy balance in which neither the journalist is a weapon in the hands of a politician nor should the latter have to act as a shield for journalists….
“It is true that it is their duty to report but the questions remains: how, when and where. This is a matter that these wielders of the pen should ponder over. They have to ensure that in the process of the performance this onerous duty to present the ideology to the nation, mutual confidence, faith and respect does not fall a casualty.
“We do understand that journalism cannot be a synonym for bosom friendship between a journalist and a politician. Yet, we have to stand firm at our respective post of duty.”
Read the full article: BJP laments stab by ‘insider journalists’