Published On : Mon, Sep 21st, 2015

Aaj Tak should tender public apology for misleading news on onion prices

Viewers and admirers are aggrieved and shocked! What on this earth made the so called fast news channel ‘Aaj Tak’ to air fake news on onion prices? Is it a ploy to defame Delhi government? Shall we take it as an erroneous act? That too in an office where so called bigwigs of media function?
The price-rise on ‘onion’ has always been an issue for the media as well as the politics, with its journey from the past to the present, and even to the future, for sure. The price-rise of onion will ever remain in lime-light, for the media to ‘lash’ it and the politics to ‘encash’ it.

The outcry on the part of media should not be based on distortion of facts, or even exaggeration of truth, other wise it may lose public faith and support, Any misleading report is an unpardonable act on the part of media and an abuse to the concept of liberty or freedom of press. This is what has happened in the case of reporting by Aaj Tak which on Monday claimed that the Delhi government purchased the onion at the rate of Rs 18 per kg and sold out to public at the rate of Rs 40 per kg. Such false claim is detrimental to public-government relationship. Such false reporting creates ire in the psyche of the consumer public as well as the government.

The Delhi government has made it clear that the Aaj Tak channel reporting should not be considered reliable, for the Central Government had sold out onion to Delhi Government at the rate of Rs 33 per kg and the Delhi Government sold it out to its citizens at the rate of Rs 35-40 per kg for the simple reason of its transportation, loading and unloading charges, margin money for shopkeepers and other miscellaneous expenses amounting to mere Rs 7. On the other hand, it also allegedly surfaced that the Central Government purchased onions from farmers at the rate of Rs 18 per kg and sold it out to Delhi government at the rate of Rs 33 per kg, but through its agencies it sold out to public at the rate of Rs 35 to Rs 40 per kg.
The news reporting by Aaj Tak thus belies all commitments made by Delhi Government to its public for good and ideal governance. The explanation furnished by Delhi Government in public interest over the onion-issue has not only hatched out the defamatory conspiracy of Aaj Tak new channel, but also shaken the reliability of entire media.

What is interesting to notice here is that the media highlights the sub-standard mud-slinging done by rival political political parties to the extent of humiliation through its political pundits and experts on various topics in the interest of citizens. But deliberately pulling down the legs of any governance or defaming it is a mockery of freedom of press and democratic norms. One thing people have understood is that the media is the most dissatisfied soul on the earth, for it knows only crying out against anything and everything as if criticism is its birth right.

However, there is only remedial way left for Aaj Tak, and that is to go for public apology in the interest of its image.