Skip to main content

Senior journalist who broke fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh "sent" to Dhanbad in "punishment posting"

By Our Representative
Gujarat’s one of the most well-known senior journalists, Prashant Dayal, who shot into prominence nationally after al case of sedition was instituted against him for a series of scathing stories on then police commissioner OP Mathur in the Times of India in 2008, has been asked leave his chief reporter’s job and instead go to Dhanbad, Jharkhand, by his new bosses of the Bhaskar group. Reason? Says Dayal, “I refused to sign-up a letter forwarded to me by the management, which said I will not accept the Justice Majithia wage board award. It is a punishment posting, which I will not accept.”
The award, which offered a 50-60 per cent hike in working journalists’ salary, was announced on basis of recommendations of a commission instituted by the Government of India under Justice GR Majithia in 2009.
Known for decades for his incisive crime reporting, Dayal, a Gujarati journalist, switched over to Divya Bhaskar (Gujarati daily) from the Times of India, Ahmedabad, more than a year ago because he was offered a better package as chief reporter. “Who doesn’t know Dhanbad? The well-known two-part feature film, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, is based on coal mafia of Dhanbad”, Dayal told Counterview. “I told the management, if they didn’t want, they need not give me the wage board award, and I will not take it, but they cannot force us to sign a paper like this.”
On January 7, 2014, a Supreme Court bench consisting of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and S K Singh rejected various challenges by “management of various newspapers” to the wage board award. In its judgment, the bench ruled “the wages as revised/determined shall be payable from November 11, 2011 when the Government of India notified the recommendations of the Majithia wage board. All the arrears up to March, 2014 shall be paid in four equal installments within a period of one year and continue to pay the revised wages from April, 2014 onwards”.
Justice Majithia
While refusing the Bhaskar group management’s plea to sign the paper that he would not accept the Justice Majethia award, Dayal in his email dated June 4 said, “I am writing this mail in connection with the recent events of state editor and city editor calling reporters and compelling them to sign to waive off their rights to get benefits of recommendations of Majithia commission, approved by the Supreme Court. I am writing this email representing the Ahmedabad city reporters as their team leader and upon their request.”
He underlined, “Reporters tell me that those who have not signed on the papers, made individual choice and it was their personal decision. This is put to your notice that those who have either refused or were unable to sign were not against the management and are working in harmony. The work environment has been better and I believe should always remain the same.”
Expressing his concern, Dayal said in his email, “Reporters were told that the company may retrench or transfer the staff if the person doesn't sign the paper. This stand is not professionally appropriate, and if after such threats to reporters, any coercive actions are taken against them, I believe it is the time for the HR to ensure that such steps are not taken. This is to clarify that this is not a union activity or rebel against the management or the company.”
“I hope that you would take the email in spirit rather than going on the language of this email”, Dayal’s email concluded. Meanwhile, several sections of journalists of the Gujarati newspapers, who work as employees and are not on contract, are feeling that, following the the Dayal episode, efforts would be made by other newspaper owners to ensure that the Majithia award is not implemented in the newspapers. Journalists working on contract are not covered by the award, which if implemented would mean 50-60 per cent in journalists’ salary.
When in the Times of India, Prashant is known to have broken major stories, including the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, for which he received threats to life. Before joining the Times of India several years ago, Dayal worked with Divya Bhaskar, which he rejoined. In a recent interview, he told a Gujarati monthly, “Jalso”, that every effort was made to compromise him. Apart from threats, he was sought to be bribed for not doing breaking stories that he had been doing.

Comments

RK said…
At the outset let me commend Prashant Dayal for his principled stand.Mediamen want to do their job.Managements would be best advised to do what they are best at-journalism-rather than embroil them in their petty media management intrigues and politics.Media co. managements dont want wageboards.Why?simply because they do not want to pay just wages to the sloggers.Freedom of the Press?Bull!Freedom of the owners to do ,you know what?Somebody should be writing a book on Journalism:from missionary to mercenary!Fight man,fight for the best values of journalism! rk misra

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”