Mandeep Punia and Dharmendra Singh were detained by the Delhi Police from the Singhu Border, because of a claim by a police personnel of being ‘manhandled’ by them. While Singh has been released, Punia remains in a judicial custody under Delhi Police. First Information Report were also filed against many journalists such as Siddharth Vardarajan, Vinod K Jose, with Sedition against Mrinal Pande, Rajdeep Sardesai. Ravish Kumar, the renowned journalist with NDTV, who is known for his incisive and at times satirical journalism when covering today’s conditions of civil liberties, economy and social justice, has written an open letter as a way of protest against the recent these FIRs and arrests of journalists.The following is the letter written by Ravish Kumar:
Dear Jailer Sir,
India’s history has now given you the charge of safekeeping it in these dark days. Free voices and questioning journalists are being taken away by ‘their’ police at night. Lodges FIRs later in far-flung areas. Please protect these voices. Inform your children that the person who has questioned has been kept in their jail. I feel bad but it is my job. Who has sent them in jail, those names your children will Google Search and can find out. Your Senior Officers, Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Administrative Service (IAS), will refuse to look in their children’s eyes and tell them to not be a journalist. They will try to explain them that if not me then Falaan Uncle will arrest you. They will suggest their children to be a slave and stay out of jail.
Mother India is watching Godi Media being crowned and free voices being jailed. Independent Journalists have worked good on Digital Media. The farmers have seen that through YouTube and Facebook Lives their movement’s voice has reached in every village. To shut these down, police is filing FIR based on normal mistakes and different claims. “The Biggest Jailer is firmly keeping an eye on this place of freedom”. Jailer Sir you are not the real jailer. The Jailer is someone else. If this is good then in this Budget let us launch a Pradhan Mantri Jail Bandi Yojana, and under it make jails in every village through Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), and jail everyone who speaks in them. Let us also jail the makers of jail too. Let us further jail the people who look at these jails as well. It should be proclaimed that Pradhan Mantri Jail Bandi Yojana has been launched. Everyone should stay silent.
The world will talk if journalists who question are being sent to jail. Newspapers will come out of jails and bootlicker will write from outside. This is not good for The Vishwa Guru India. I request that cases against Siddharth Vardarajan, Rajdeep Sardesai, Amit Singh and all other journalists should be taken back immediately. Mandeep Punia should be granted bail immediately. This Game of FIR should end.
Please note one thing and keep it in your purse. The day the people understand all this, in the country’s villages, tractors, buses, trains, airplanes, mandis, markets and toilets this would be written:
“No country can be free with a subservient media. The New Freedom will come only after the Freedom from Godi Media”.
This letter was originally written in Hindi and has been subsequently translated by Ananya Kumar.