Saturday, April 21st, 2012
Statement issued in public interest 20.4.2012 New Delhi Defamatory News against Popular Front Legal Notice issued to News papers
Channels to withdraw defamatory news
As the essential first step of the legal proceedings, Mr. K.M. Shareef the General Secretary of Popular Front of India, issued the legal notice to Dainik Jagran Hindi Daily, Hindustan Times English Daily, The Asian Age English Daily, IBN-7 Hindi News Channel, Deccan Chronicle English Daily, Times Now English TV Channel, Nav Bharat Times Hindi Daily, The Inquilab Urdu Daily, The New Indian Express English Daily, The Sunday Guardian English Weekly and CNN-IBN English TV Channel. These news papers and news channels have published or telecast news that were baseless and defamatory to Popular Front of India. The legal notices were sent by Mr. Bahar U Barqi and Maroof Ahmad, Advocates, Supreme Court of India. A complaint was also sent by Mr. M.K. Sharafudheen, Public Relations Officer, Popular Front of India to Press Council of India to take action against the Sunday Pioneer for repeatedly publishing false news against the organization.
Popular Front of India has become the favourite target of a section of the media. It is not uncommon to see news items and articles against the organization appearing in some of the news papers and channels. Such media attack is not limited to any particular state and recently we have seen a single report being published in various language news papers in different states. It is quite interesting that such reports have now started to appear in states which either has very minimal or no presence of Popular Front. The reports published are always ridiculous and often compel a sensible mind to think twice on credibility of the media. The media ethics often go for a toss while publishing such reports and there will be no sort of verification done by the media persons on the authenticity of the reports. When we go through the reports that have appeared since past few months we can identify numerous instances of this media insensitivity and blatant prejudice.
While reading few reports that have appeared recently we can conclude that such media attack is not just a coincidence but a part of a larger conspiracy to target Popular Front of India. Though the whole of the media cannot be blamed for this bias, there are indeed few sections in the media inclined towards the Sangh Parivar ideology of hate. These sections of media persons have a deep bias ingrained in them against the Muslim community and Muslim organizations which work for the uplift of the Indian Muslims. We have seen in the past how the media had brought the whole Muslim community to trial on various issues related to terrorism. For example, during the arrest of Dr. Haneef of Bangalore in Australia, the Australian media played a crucial role in proving him innocent whereas the Indian media left no stones unturned in accusing him of being a terrorist. The whole of Muslim professional community was brought under the lens and we could see opinion poll in news papers and channels on such pet issues like whether educated Muslims are more likely to join terrorist organizations. Even during the fake encounter killing of the students at Batla House in New Delhi, the media justified the encounter and tried to tarnish the Muslim students especially the ones coming from Azamgarh. Such instances are enough to conclude that targeting Muslims and Muslim organizations is not an occasional pastime of a small section of the media.
Recent Defamatory News against Popular Front:
· Atanki Sangatan PFI par Pratibandh: Terrorist Organisation PFI Banned – Dainik Jagran
· UP cops yet to solve Varanasi case: PC – Hindistan Times
· PFI national HQ shifted to Delhi – The Asian Age
· Khufia report ka khulasa, PFI ke SIMI se Rishte: Intelligence report reveals PFI has SIMI connection – IBN 7
· PFI meet: Intel gropes in dark – Deccan Chronicle
· PFI training cadre for questioning – Times Now
· Blast, 3 Sankadanom par Khufia Nazar: Blast: Three organizations under agencies observation – Nav Bharath Times
· Sandheh ke gere mein PFI – Attack on a diplomat PFI under suspicion – Dainik Jagran
· Delhi Car Blast: Clues Point to PFI – The New Indian Express & CNN – IBN
· PFI under scanner of investigating agencies – The Inquilab
· IB report says extremist PFI has shifted base to Delhi – The Sunday Guardian
· SIMI body wakes Muslims up to woes of vote politics & SIMI- backed party alarms NIA- Sunday Pioneer
One of the allegations the media levels against Popular Front is that it is connected to the banned organization SIMI. Some of the above reports mentioned that this information is provided by a “secret security agency” unknown to the people. There were many imaginary stories published in that reports linking Popular Front to SIMI and also to Indian Mujahideen; all figments of fertile imagination with no relation to the reality. Popular Front is not connected with any other organization legal or illegal. Such reports have always failed to make it clear about the source. It has been a regular habit of such sections of media to publish senseless reports and then assign it to a so called “intelligence agency” or any other “secret security agency”.
The hypocrisy of these news papers was proved as most of them never published the rejoinders sent by the Popular Front. We had questioned the authenticity of these reports and till date we have never received any convincing reply from any of these newspapers. While such derogatory reports were published by the media, it was more disappointing that none of these newspapers ever tried to contact Popular Front leaders to know its point of view on the issues. It is a well established fact that Popular Front of India has always been in the forefront in condemning all forms of terrorism and anti-national activities. Still charges of terrorism and anti-national work are leveled against the organization without any evidence.
After the recent blasts at Mumbai the Dainik Jagaran, Meerut edition published a report saying that Popular Front of India has been banned by the central government and its leaders have gone underground. These reports would be enough for any sensible citizen to understand the intention of the media to put such allegations on Popular Front of India. How such a report can be justified when Popular Front of India is a registered organization with its head office in the national capital and various other offices in different states and districts across the country? If a news paper doesn’t understand what it means by a proscribed organization then how can its reporting be trusted?
To call Popular Front of India which is one of the biggest neo-social movements in India a banned organization is not just a mistake or error but a planned conspiracy to defame the organization and an attempt to impede its influence and growth. It needs to be noted that Popular Front of India has a larger presence in south India but since last few years it is making huge leaps in many states of north India. There reasons to believe that the great success of “Social Justice Conference” held in last November, with masses that over flowed New Delhi’s Ramlila Ground, has further annoyed the vested interest groups and their agents in the media. As Popular front of India is pretty new to the masses of northern states such reports are intentionally published by the ‘Media – Sangh Parivar – Intelligence nexus’ to curb the growth of Popular Front and create suspicion among the masses towards the organization.
It is in this context that Popular Front of India has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the above news papers and channels as response to their irresponsible violation of media ethics. We proceed further with filing cases in court and taking the matter to Press Council of India in the light of the response of the above channels and news papers to our legal notice.
K. M. Shareef
Popular Front of India