Patna, (Bihar Times): Recently, a controversy regarding the formation of a Press club for local media persons cropped up in the Media circle of Patna. This controversy shows that still the Media of Bihar is vibrant and conscious of their right and dignity despite all round degeneration even at the national level.
A move by some local journalists to form a private trust with all its sponsors as life members was opposed tooth and nail by more than 95 percent of the media people despite the fact that many of them were close friends with some of the trustees. The vociferous opposition virtually caught govt. officials unaware of this scheming design of the selfish people. Bihar Times has decided to make this issue open for public discussion because Media in Bihar still commands respect in view of the fact that a large no. of media men still feel that their integrity is integral to the larger welfare of a democratic society in which we live.
We are putting all facts before our readers and solicit their opinion.
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IPRD Press Release
I would like to strees that healthy journalism is as much about neutral reportrage as it is about reporting (or suggesting) positive developments in and around society. You have to be free of your personal likings and dislikings. Its a general feeling both inside and outside Bihar that good things are happening. People (both rural and urban) testify this in general. Nothing wrong in reporting that. Writing about (or awarding) a positive developmment is as much necessary (to encourage people to bring in more such changes) as it is to be critical of negative or selfish developments.
Of late, I have been going through quite a few write-ups of Mr. Saroor Ahmed. He seemed quite critical of the establishments, both media and the government. But he fails to suggest any thing better. Mere cynicism is not going to benefit Bihar or its people. I am yet to see any any positive article from Mr. Saroor. This is as good (or bad) as his biased journalist brethren ( the so called pro-establishment cronies).
It does not take rocket science to know why previous establishment went for 15 years. It was not due to Critical media as mentioned by the writer. In fact media was decimated like all other institution and people did not care about what they are writing. They just cared about what their Raja is saying! And it took a while for our people to realize where they are heading in this 21st century.
Bihar still remains a society divided among caste and communal lines. This is at heart of its backwardness. This is also reflected in media in Bihar. Unless this is curbed no amount of goodwill (or good work) can change Bihar. Mr. Saroor should at least appreciate that people in Bihar are now talking about corruption as a menace. Otherwise in previous establishments they were reconciled to its institutionalization and even accepted it as their fate.
Its a refreshing change that Bihar is in news now a days not for its 'prodigious' sons like Sahabuddins, Suraj Bhans, Taslimuddins, Sunil Pandey, Pappu Yadavs and so on. And perhaps among very few ministry in the country free of any criminal charges. This ministry may not be 100% free of corrution, but then look at our electroal system. Compare this with our perennial brother UP, where Atique Ahmeds and Shekhar Tiwaris still ruling the roost. Even centre this time is not free of criminals.
In this light, Why is Mr. Saroor so critical about someone given Best Politician or Best CM award? And if he is rightly so why he is not bringing in other facts to the fore?
Alok Kumar Singh
Free and fair journalism has been going on in Bihar––of course as elsewhere––for the last so many decades or say well over a century. Yet we never needed any Press Club or such concession from any government. Why is it that these guys suddenly realized the need for the Press Club? I know the obvious purpose of the Press Club. Throughout my two decades of journalism I always decried any such favour from any government––be it Nitish or Lalu in Bihar, Vajpayee or Manmohan in Delhi and Mulayam or Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh etc.
Sometimes back Mulayam tried to corrupt the journalists by offering them bungalows. Then Ram Vilas Paswan as Union communication minister in the Vajpayee government ‘gifted’ free phones to many of the friends in the media.
This politician-media nexus is extremely dangerous for any democracy. It is going on at much higher level too. Of late, the media barons––the 12 lesser mortals in the so-called Trust are just their employees––have started honouring the politicians with various awards, such as, the best chief minister, best politician, the most development-minded chief minister and what not.
With the help of the so-called surveys these media houses are generously giving awards to different politicians, when the truth is that they have absolutely nothing to do with the development; their eyes are just on more advertisement and bigger favour from the government.
These gentlemen should know that it is the people who decide who is the best or who is the worst. Those yearning for premises in the Press Club are just doing what their bosses are doing at the national and international level in much polished way. And those posted at the districts are simply satisfied by a very small official favour.
Incidentally, the whole drama of the Press Club came up just a couple of days before I wrote a hard-hitting piece on this portal on what is going on in the media in Bihar. A couple of months back I wrote another piece on the shrinking influence of the mainstream media for some other magazine. When I wrote these pieces I thought I am a bit harsh towards the journalistic fraternity. Now I am realizing that my view is getting vindicate. That is why thehoot.org, a reputed portal, gave prominence to my view, though I was not even aware of it.
These gentlemen in the Trust––there is no lady in it––must understand that they are fooling themselves and none else. Being a journalist does not mean that they are above everything. Do not become too big for your boots, just because some decorated politicians know you by your name.
It was good move by CM to identify journalists and media in Bihar by providing facilities for them with Press club. Unfortunately the greed of journalists who wanted to hi-jack whole press of Bihar became blockage to this whole move. This is shame on them to form a trust, make themself lifelong member/trustee of the trust and rushing to CM to give all facilities planned for press club to their trust which means to them. How ridiculous it is to reas such a shameful act by them. Whole media should protest their act. Does they know how their reporting looks like? Pathetic. If you try to lookback their last couple of news and their social background you will see their thinking and level of reporting they do. Thanks BiharTimes for bringing this issue to the notice to Netizens.
It seems It was all a plan to hijack the Nitish Kumar plan to have Press Club . In my opinion it must be named Press Club of Bihar rather than Press Club of Patna . It was most unfortunate to know that people who are known as fourth pillar of democracy and behaving like that . In fact , It was a criminal attempt to acquire the govt property being the life long trustee by so called 'G-12' . Thanks God , It was not 'G-4' . Now ,how and who will believe on these reporters / journalist ? Its a shame on journalism .
It's a very good move to have a press club in Bihar. Press must enjoy freedom and shouldn't be instrument of a few people. Life membership of the press club based on sponsorship could make it a lobby of rich people.
I sincerely appreciate the move by Bihar Times for initiating such a debate and discussion over things which was covertly overt in media circle of Patna...Bihar Times has mustered courage to call a spade a spade and for temerity to point finger out on its own fraternity...
[Un]fortunatley I was also in the meeting which was called by the IPRD secretary to make a consensus over the move to have a Press Club in Patna as being directed by the Chief Minister...I was fortunate 'cause I got to know the facts and things which was moving on in a very clandestine manner by a "Group of 12" very talented journos to form a "Lifelong Trustee of the said Press Club"...
And, unfortunate 'cause I considered myself totally out of place at that meeting of my enlightened friends.. In fact I got to know I was not cut out for that kind of healthy and vibrant [????!!!] meeting of my journalist friends who were so furiously debating the issue that something very expensive was being taken out from their mouth...
At some time a G-12 members were even seen ready to pounce on the other group who were opposing it...And, the other group, as being called by a member, the Frustee, not Trustee group, sounded scheming to play their own game to take the ball in heir own court...
The meticulous IPRD secretary sometime looked dazed, sometime flummoxed in trying to figure out something from the hurly-burly of the meeting...though, he finally succeeded in getting some points straight and the meeting came to an end...
And, I got time to piss in the tiled toilet and relax myself trying to figure out why and why not I should come here again??!!... someone from behind said what is rotting media by a group of media persons must be exposed, must be condemned...
And, that purpose was, to some extent, served on that day...
Once again thanks to BT for taking up such a debate...