Under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, around forty farmer organisations have come together and are protesting against the three anti-farmer laws. Lakhs of farmers have been protesting in the borders of Delhi. SKM has also been negotiating with the government. The farmers had agreed upon a particular route for their tractor parade and they stuck to it. Conspiring against the peaceful protest of the farmers just with an intention to malign and destroy the vibrant movement the government planted a group of its own. There is outrage across Karnataka against the sensational media coverage of these developments in Delhi.
Addressing Ajit Hanumakkanavar, a news anchor of Suvarna news channel, renowned writer N A Divakar has said, “if you desire to sing praises and ignore the wrongdoings of any political party, please become a member of that party and sing their praises every day. Nobody would stop you.” Reminding the anchor who is infamous for his loud and authoritarian anchoring, Divakar explained, “many editors, reporters, writers have worked day in and day out to safeguard and protect the values of these objects. Many have sacrificed their lives to uphold the sanctity of media houses and some are dedicating their entire lives towards achieving this end.”
Enraged with the media trial, he noted “your goal must be to provide information. You are not the Supreme Court judge to give judgements…While reporting the incidents that happened in Delhi, you were considering the farmers’ protest as anti-national. Watching the headline calling these protests seditious and hearing your punchlines, it seemed like you personally investigated the events in Delhi and had assumed the role of the Supreme Court. You have every right to shout the way you do every day and show the visuals of the events that unfurled in Delhi; however, you have no right to declare the developments as anti-national. It is not even your constitutional right. Indian Constitution bestowed this responsibility on certain constitutional systems. You better let these institutions do their job. It is not the responsibility of the media to identify sedition…”
Dayanand T K, a widely acclaimed scriptwriter and director has also heavily criticised the way in which the media approached the tractor parade and the unpleasant event at the Red Fort which we now know as a BJP conspiracy to destroy the farmers’ movement. He said, “we were taught to be extra careful and conscious while reporting news regarding sedition and communally sensitive matters, in our journalism colleges. If we forget this lesson we will be contributing to an undesirable and a monstrous impact on society.” Dayanand also explained that there is no sense in the media making a ruckus out of Sikh flag being hoisted with the tricolour.
He said, “ according to the Flag Code of India 2002 ACT part 2 / section 2.2/ clause 8 flags of any private organisations, religious organisations and those flags that are not prohibited can be hoisted along with the national flag. The ACT states that other flag should be hoisted a bit lower than the national flag. The central government also passed legislation saying the same in 2002. Therefore there is nothing wrong in hoisting a Sikh flag or any other flag below the national flag. This is not against any law. Farmers have not disrespected the national flag. Senseful journalism is where a reporter would learn the legality of the issue before reporting about it.”
Harsha Kumar Kugve, a senior journalist calling the Modi government cowardly, said, “the developments in Delhi have shown the cowardice of this government which is not capable of ethically facing the farmers’ movement. This government planted a group of miscreants among the protesting farmers and made them perform violent acts and now are maligning the entire community of farmers. Farmers in more than two lakh tractors have peacefully carried out their parade with utmost discipline. A certain group of miscreants who decided not to follow any agreed-upon instructions laid out by the farmer organisations entered the Red Fort and caused chaos. The person who led this chaos was certain Deep Sidhu who is associated with the BJP. There is no doubt about the involvement of this government in all the attempts to malign the farmer’s movement. Godi media has shown its true colours. None of them even bothered to discuss the developments with leaders of SKM. They are determined to kill the farmer’s movement.”