MUFP Asks Authorities to Protect Suryaprabha Publisher from Police Conspiracy

Media Unity for Freedom of Press ( MUFP ) has in a statement expressed serious concern over reports that the Bhubaneswar Police is trying
to slap fabricated charges against Sri Bikash Swain, publisher of Oriya
daily Suryaprabha to despatch him to jail for the second time and make
sure he does not get bail. All this because, despite vindictive police
action against Sri Swain last year, Suryaprabha has refused to fall in
line and has continued to publish critical reports on the acts of
omissions and commissions of both the state government and the
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate !

Based on inputs from ‘credible sources’ the Executive Editor of
Suryaprabha Sri Navin Das  in a letter to the MUFP has informed of the police conspiracy against Sri Swain, the newspaper’s founder and publisher.

“The MUFP would not like to jump into conclusions; but we would be failing
in our duty if we do not bring this to your kind attention to prevent
any attempt by the police to intimidate or terrorize the media just
because it chooses to project critical views on the functioning of the
government and its agencies”, the body of collective journalistic conscience has told the authorities.

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. Sir, I am an Ex-serviceman & have no political affiliation atall. Being interested to know the real news I do a comparative study of various Odia,English and hindi newspaper regularly and view online news including BBC Engilish,BBC HIND,DDInews,Navbharat times, Amar ujala, Dainik Jagaran etc without fail. As per my consideration I feel Suryaprabha is totally baised towards Odisha State Govt. Everyday it publishes Stories against present Govt on front page which is quite different fron others. To oppose for the sake of opposing only does not bring credit to the opposer. The people of Odisha are aware enough to decide what is good and what is bad. A reader purchases news paper by paying money not to read the fabulous worthless talks of a few. I don’t want that the editor should be falsely implicated by the police. There is no emergency imposed now in Orissa nor we feel emergency like situation over here. The editor of Suryaprabha should not see the outer world by putting on his coloured glass and read the ground reality. The non Official result of present three tire panchayat poll in Odisha is a better eye opener.He should not pretent himself honest and others are corroupt. Odia people are not fools to be swayed away by false propaganda of Suryaprava.However very few read this news Paper. Be honest and then fight for honesty.

    • Dear Sri Grahacharya,
      Thanks for the response.

      A media organization is not just a newspaper, radio or television that entertains and sales information as commodities and earns fabulously in an environment invigorated by government nexus with corporations; it is a complex socio technical institution in the core of which one should see commitment to emancipation of the people from exploitation.

      Every media organization, notwithstanding pattern of ownership, should have the orientation to serve the people; as it is the people that it aims at.

      And the people are best served when their right to good governance is supported and strengthened by media.

      Hence, by exposing misrule, a media organization does not do any wrong and so, its conduct cannot be read as a bias against a government; but should be read as the correct conduct of media.

      Even if most of media organizations do not expose misrule, it cannot be said that a newspaper that exposes misrule is biased against a government.

      As far as Suryaprabha is concerned, as reports and discussions in these pages would show, the government, despite an army of information and public relations personnel in its service, has neither countered any of its reports nor has preferred any clarification. But, in stead, the paper has been subjected to police excesses which the MUFP has time and again protested against.

      Were the government been honest, the protests raised by MUFP against maltreatment meted out to Suryaprabha should have prompted it to clarify its position. So, it cannot be assumed that Suryaprabha is dishonest because it has, to its ability, exposed misrule.

      A government cannot be claimed to be a government not of misrule, because the ruling party bags majority of berths in the panchayat elections. Circumstantial follies apart, panchayat results in Orissa are shepherded into ruling party dragnets by the State Election Commissioner obliged to the ruling group for his post-retirement appointment to the lucrative post.

      Even if success in panchayat polls could be construed as proof of popularity of the government, it cannot be said that it is not indulged in misrule.

      For appropriate appreciation of the position, let us forget Suryaprabha on assumption of bias for the time being and look at two other newspapers. They particularly are: Khabara (the newspaper of the shadow supremo of ruling BJD, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and Dharitri, the newspaper of another BJD stalwart Tathagat Satapathy. Both of them are BJD members in Indian Parliament. But both of their newspapers headline massive instances of misrule everyday.

      Does it connote to dishonesty on part of the reporters concerned or the two media organizations named above or owners thereof?

      Coming back to Suryaprabha, as we see, it is not the only newspaper, which is exposing the misrule that has engulfed Orissa.

      As shown above, even the newspapers belonging to ruling party stalwarts, specifically to persons in the Chief Minister’s closest circle, are also exposing misrule as it is impossible to suppress or to digest the menacing wrongs the government under Naveen Patnaik has been doing to Orissa.

      So, there is no dishonesty on part of Suryaprabha in exposing the misrule and it cannot be taken as biased against the government.

      thanks, again.

      • Dear Subhas Babu,

        I have gone through the letter of Sri Grahacharya and your conviencing reply to him. Your arguements are justofied. It is good that while a number of media have surrenderred before the rulers it is commendale that Suryaprava is highlighting many negative aspects of the administration may be with the view to make them aware about their misdeeds and anti-people actvities.

        All Governments are supposed to do good for the people and such activities are not always reportworthy, since the Govt. is duty bound for that.If any newspaper reports about misdeeds and failure of the Govt. it should be congratulated for creating awareness and doing great service to the people by highlighting their problems.

        Hope Shri Grahacharya will try to understand the reality and would not blame Suryaprava for its reporting truth on most occasions when many ignore for reasons best known to them.

        Thanking you,

        Sincerely,

        Prasanta Patnaik,
        Bhubaneswar-751001.

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