New Delhi: “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.” The great philosopher Plato said this centuries ago. The statement has not lost its relevance even thousands of years later, an example of which was witnessed in West Bengal during polling for phase 2 of the assembly elections.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Friday (April 2) narrated the ordeal the channel’s reporters had to endure while covering the elections in Bengal and how bravely they stood their ground to bring the truth out.
We have all heard of the four pillars of democracy – Judiciary, Executive, Legislature and Media. Out of these, media is the most important pillar as it keeps the other three in check by informing people about anything that goes wrong in the society.
But when the media itself is intimidated and thretened, the other three pillars are bound to be weakened.
This is what happened in Bengal on Thursday, when voting was being conducted for 30 assembly seats. While covering the polling, the Zee Media team was attacked with iron rods, sickles, sticks and stones.
The team stood inside the car as violent mob surrounded the vehicle and attacked it with deadly weapons. It was like death was literally knocking at the door.
The incident occurred about 100 km from Nandigram where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present. It has been 24 hours since the incident but Banerjee, who time and again shares her “concern” for media freedom, has not spoken a word of it.
Mamata, who calls an alleged attack on her an attack on democracy and shares tweets about the freedom of the press, has nothing to say about the attack on us. This shows the real face of politics in our country.
How Zee Media team braved the odds
It is not easy to speak the truth. True journalism brings with it the risk to life. But the Zee Media team does not back down.
Yesterday, when our team was attacked, we stayed there and brought the truth in front of you at any cost. The dreadful pictures tell the story of the attack and the attempt to suppress true journalism.
When a team of our Bangla channel Zee 24 Ghanta was in Keshpur, we got information of booth capturing. At that instant, Zee Media reporter Maitri Bhattacharya along with other colleagues left for the polling booth.
On our way, we saw BJP candidate Pritish Ranjan’s car and tried to talk to them. But at the same time, a violent mob came out and attacked Ranjan’s car. He narrowly managed to escape.
The mob even chased us after seeing ‘Zee Media’ logo on our car. But the Zee reporters, known for their fearless journalism, did not back down. They did their job and now we have pictures and footages to show for it.
Gautama Buddha had said: Three things cannot remain hidden for long – the sun, the moon and the truth. Zee Media just proved it.