Yesterday, during her visit to Sonbhadra, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s close aid Sandeep Singh, a former AISA student member, was seen manhandling a journalist. For this the AICC General Secretary, who was purporting herself as a people’s leader in Sonbhadra faced a lot of flak for keeping silent and not protesting against the assault of the journalist.
In the viral video, the journalist, who merely wanted to ask Priyanka Vadra’s opinion on Article 370 of the Constitution, was brutally manhandled, threatened and abused in Unbha village. All throughout the ordeal, Priyanka Vadra remained indifferent to this horrible treatment of the journalist.
In the video, Sandeep Singh was seen threatening the journalist by telling him “Suno Suno, Thok ke yahi baja dunga, marunga toh yehi gir jaoge.” Thereafter, the assailants were also seen pushing and shoving the journalist. One of the assailants was also seen attempting to cover the camera lens with his hand.
The journalist meanwhile was seen alerting Priyanka Vadra and pleading with her to pay heed to the uncouth behaviour but she conveniently ignored it.
According to a local Congress leader, Sandeep Singh is “based in Delhi and takes care of Priyanka’s schedules.”
In light of this, a police complaint has been lodged against Sandeep Singh at the Ghorawal police station. Ghorawal SHO G P Pandey said, “One Sandeep Singh, mentioned as personal secretary of Priyanka Gandhi, manhandled the reporter and threatened him with dire consequences. We are probing the case.”
While Sandeep Singh is facing police prosecution, Priyanka Vadra seems to have escaped the incident unscathed. She hasn’t apologised to the journalist for her ignorance while he was being assaulted and nor has she publicly condemned either Sandeep Singh or the incident.
While Priyanka’s behavior is abhorrent, what is further shocking is the fact that the liberal media establishment, which is usually triggered at marginal incidents, is strangely quiet.
More than often, the ‘liberal’ journalists are whining about the fact that ‘journalists are under threat’ and now when one is actually threatened, they choose to stay quiet.
Shekhar Gupta, the chairman of the Editors Guild, although condemned the incident, completely absolved Priyanka Vadra from any blame and even praised her. He tweeted, “What kind of language and physical intimidation is this. The worst goons in UP politics won’t threaten to thrash journalists. Will be a disappointment and surprise if Priyanka, so polite herself, doesn’t banish the guy at once, and apologises to the journalist.”
Prior to this, during the Tiranga TV incident, the Editors Guild had again displayed their refusal to condemn immoral and illegal activities of the Congress members. Tiranga TV, launched by Congress leader Kapil Sibal had laid off over 200 journalists in an arbitrary manner. At that time, the Editors Guild had more pressing matters and doesn’t consider it a priority.
However, ahead of that, when the person in question was actress Kangana Ranaut, the Entertainment Journalists Guild had come together to ban any coverage on Kangana Ranaut, in a show of support to journalist Justin Rao. Before that, the media had again come together to protest against the arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia, wherein the protest was aimed against the current UP government.
As precedent shows, the Editors Guild, incorporated to protect the interests of the journalists has been extremely biased in pointing incidents. A journalist will be protected so long as the grand old party is not under the radar. Favouritism in full view once again, the Editors Guild, along with the rest of the media fraternity have turned a deaf ear to the journalist’s woes.