"Stop Republic TV From Harassing My Aged Parents and Family Please"
NEW DELHI: (Dr S. P. Udayakumar an academic, writer and anti-nuclear activist has written to the Press Council Chairperson literally asking for restraining orders for Republic news television reporters who he said are “harassing” his aged parents, wife and children with incessant questions, and visits.
Udayakumar is the convenor of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE that came into prominence for its protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project. Earlier he was Professor at an University in the United States. Republic TV claimed to have carried out a “sting” operation against him for receiving foreign funds, an event that Udayakumar details in the letter to the Chairman of the Press Council of India Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad.)
Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.
On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.
On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors” was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds. So I said she could not donate money from abroad but her parents could do it here in India if she sent the money to them. I also mentioned clearly that I would give proper receipt and the money will be accounted for. I also informed her that we were not interested in getting foreign funds.
Mr. Arnab Goswami and his team telecasted this as a so-called “sting operation” on me at 2 pm on June 20, 2017 in their Republic TV and alleged that our struggle against the Koodankulm nuclear power project was funded by the Church with foreign donations. I took part in the very same panel discussion on Republic TV and clarified what had transpired. But Mr. Goswami was so abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive.
As I was taking part in their discussion from Kumbakonam town where I was attending an agitation, Republic TV reporter Sanjeev was standing in front of my home at Nagercoil from 2 pm till 11 pm that night harassing my parents aged 85 and 82 respectively, my wife and school-going son. He was insisting on their responding to their so-called sting operation. Even after they told him that I was out of town, he and three of his colleagues were hounding my family with their high-handed behavior.
Sanjeev showed up at my home again in the morning of June 21, 2017 and started harassing my family all over again. When my aged father objected to his ruthless behavior, he fraudulently reported on his TV that I personally had scolded him. I came to know about the whole incident when I came home in the evening.
In a desperate attempt to raise the TRP rate, the discredited Republic TV has been telecasting slanderous reports about me and spreading canards through social media. This kind of indecent and abusive behavior of an anchor and reporters is unacceptable in a democracy. The Republic TV and their reporters are crossing all limits and causing so much mental agony to me and my entire family.
In the light of the above situation, may I request you to do the needful to stop this anti-people TV from hurting me and more people in future, please. Looking forward to your immediate and favorable intervention, I send you my best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.
S. P. Udayakumar