It’s heartening to note that journalists in Chennai boycotted a press meet to be addressed by controversial Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani after he refused to talk in the presence of the representative of an English news channel.
Media reports say that Mevani asked the reporter of Republic TV to remove his mike. He insisted that he won’t talk in the presence of the channel representative since it was “his policy”.
Mevani’s rider has not gone down well with the journalists. Giving a stern message to the legislator, they boycotted the press conference.
Compare this with the behavior of Delhi journalists. When Left student activist Shehla Rashid snubbed a Republic TV journalist and asked him to get out of a protest meet against the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the protest from Delhi journalists was feeble. Ironically, the whole thing was happening at the Press Club of India. The big names of journalism in Lutyens’ Delhi, who always swear by liberalism, chose silence against the rabid show of intolerance by the haughty activist.
Similarly, a few months ago, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked the journalists who gathered to cover an event to “get out” of the room. There was not even a murmur of protest, though Malayala Manorama daily came out with a novel way to protest with all the headlines on its front page on the following day had words “get out”. But Left-liberals who cry for press freedom from their rooftops, chose to ignore the royal snub handed down to their colleagues by the chief minister.