I know that I am writing this letter to the most articulate journalist in India. I do respect you for your stupendous contribution in the national media and the activism and vigour you show in bursting the hypocrisy of the political class. I watch your News hour program in Times now and have been following your stellar performance in the media ever since your NDTV times. However off late in your debates, you does not seem to play the ringmasters role of bringing divergent opinions to the nation, but instead you yourself get into the ring, and give an impression of taking sides. This gives an image of you taking positions in a debate. I think the flavour of your program is in your ability to expose the politicians by your rhetoric, but that should not get into a state of sensationalism which I doubt is happening now in your program. Secondly excessive emotion that you exhibit be it anger or sarcasm, does not taste good. I have found you yelling at the participants of them being touchy, but on the contrary you seem to be touchy while you are put in a spot. In one of the debates I heard you saying that you are a citizen of India and you have a right to say what you want. However it should be understood that being a national figure, your right to speak should not offend others. Your activism on issues related to matters which are subjudice, needs to be handled with caution especially when you are anchoring a national debate participated by the best brains in the country .
Media activism and investigative journalism has made a difference to Indian democracy making it more transparent, but media too has a line not to be crossed which needs to defined by law. In the judgement dated 19th April 2010 ( Manu sharma v/s State of Delhi) , the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice P Satashivam and Justice Swatenter Kumar observed , and I quote ‘’ Presumption of innocence of an accused is a legal presumption and should not be destroyed at the very threshold through the process of media trial and that too when the investigation is pending. In that event, it will be opposed to the very basic rule of law and would impinge upon the protection granted to an accused under Article 21". The learned judges also cautions that the ‘’freedom of speech protected under Article 19 (1-a) of the constitution has to be carefully and cautiously used so as to avoid interference to administration of justice and leading to undesirable results in matters subjudice before the court”
As Parliament elections are nearing the private media finds enough sentiments in their ‘’market’’ which can be capitalized by sensationalism. Be it scamgates or modi mania for a nation frustrated by their politicians , any ringmaster , who throws a ring to the political class and make them juggle is a matter of satisfaction. However this does not absolve the ringmaster from his role of not being a player by himself.