VETERAN JOURNALIST SAYS HIS COMMENTS HAVE BEEN DISTORTED BY TV CHANNEL
By Abdul Bari Masoud
Special to Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Veteran journalist and activist Kuldip Nayar has denied that he extended any support to BJP candidate Arun Jaitley from Amritsar and is campaigning for him. Blaming it on a private news channel for attributing his support to Jaitley, Nayar said he went to Amritsar on a private visit where one channel reporter asked about Jaitley and he only said that he is a well-read person but the remark was misinterpreted as support for the BJP leader.
Concerned about certain comments being made in social media criticizing Kuldip Nayar’s visit to Amritsar stating that he is campaigning for Arun Jaitley, members of Citizens for Democracy N.D.Pancholi and Anil Sinha met Nayar at his residence on Sunday evening. Nayar told them that his visit to Amritsar was a private affair for about a day, i.e. he went to Amritsar on 17th and returned on 18th April. He did meet Arun Jaitley but he neither addressed any public meeting nor met the press nor made any public appeal.
However, Nayar said Barkha Dutt of NDTV met him in the hotel room where he was staying and requested for his bite. She asked questions about the BJP, Modi and Arun Jaitley. Pancholi said “Nayar commented that BJP is a communal and divisive party and it would not be good for the country if BJP comes to power. About Jaitley he said that ‘he has a good reputation, he is well read, he is a good man, that he was with him imprisoned in Tihar jail during emergency and that he is like a family member”.
About Narendra Modi, he commented that “Modi is a collateral damage and made some other unpalatable remarks”. However the part of the interview where Nayar dubbed BJP as communal and divisive party and not good to assume power and the other unpalatable remarks were not telecast for reasons best known to the NDTV.
Barkha Dutt in her introductory comments said that there were persons who were backing Arun Jaitley without backing the party and mentioned Nayar as one of those persons who was in town to support Jaitley.
Such comments were introduced later on while preparing the 59 minutes report telecast on 18th April,2014 captioned as, “The Amritsar Paradox” in which Nayar’s bite was only for 24 seconds, and it seems to have created an impression that Nayar was there in the town campaigning for the BJP leader.
Pancholi and Sinha said that in their knowledge not a single print media paper or any other channel except NDTV had referred to Kuldip Nayar’s visit to Amritsar which in fact was a private visit. They said Nayar’s views about BJP and Narendra Modi are well known which continuously find expression in his writings, though he does entertain affectionate feelings towards Jaitley for the last about 40 years.
They deplored certain comments being made against Nayar in social media about his visit to Amritsar which are distorted, uncalled for, unwarranted and injustice to a person who has all throughout his life been fighting against the communal and obscurantist forces.