13, Jun 2017 | Rukmini Sen
Dear Arnab Goswami, Three Quick points- 1) Zakia Jafri has not taken her case/statement back from any court. 2) No court has said Teesta Setalvad is guilty of Perjury. 3) In Best Bakery case Zahira Sheikh was sentenced by the Indian Supreme Court to one year in prison for perjury. Teesta was proven innocent. It is in the context of the You Tube link attached with this letter that I want to raise a few questions- Every time I go to You Tube to listen to arguments for and against Teesta Setalvad I come across two violent clips. One of Meenakshi Lekhi’s and the other one is that of Jethmalani’s. Both calling Teesta Setalvad Queen of perjury. Both Lekhi and Jethmalani divert the debate on PM Modi to Setalvad and she walks out of the frame because you refuse to intervene. Then I read the comments below the visual clips. Most of the comments boisterously say Teesta is a liar and that is why she walked out. Let me correct the fanatic enthusiasts there and also you with some facts and just FACTS. As Lekhi and Jethmalani accuse Setalvad of the same crime I am choosing one clip ie Meenakshi Lekhi’s.
In this clip and clip alone two points are raised and I must ask you why you chose not to intervene as an Anchor and why as a journalist didn’t report facts-
– Teesta Setalvad mentions in the beginning of the clip that Meenakshi Lekhi’s suggestion that – Zakia Jaffri, the co-complainant in the case (Gulberg case) has withdrawn her complaint- IS FALSE. That Ms Lekhi’s statement that no FIR was filed was also FALSE. Setalvad adds that Supreme Court has in fact treated Zakia Jafri’s complaint as an FIR and has asked it to be either charge sheeted or a closure report to be filed.
Teesta requests in all her earnestness that YOU the Editor of Times Now who has been a Field reporter for long should not let factual inaccuracies go unchallenged on your channel.
Teesta then re-asserts and categorically reiterates that Mrs Zakia Jaferi has not changed her statement in any court of Law. She asks you to respond to Meenakshi Lekhi’s false statements. BUT what do you do?
You don’t rectify anything. You don’t do your bit of bringing in the facts.
We suddenly see you telling Meenakshi Lekhi to respond! Why?
– Were you unaware of the facts?
– Did you not know that Zakia Jafri had not changed any of her statements in the courts?
– Did you not know that Supreme court had taken cognizance of Zakia Jafri’s complaint as an FIR?
An anchor of a Prime Time show has some responsibilities. How and why did you shun your bit of hard work? Why didn’t you do your basic research?
Please find some Newspaper reports for your future discussions on Zakia Jafri case. BTW till this date Zakia Jafri has NOT taken her statement back.
Had you done your research that day the Lekhi and Jethmalani clips wouldn’t have been a tool for propaganda against Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand. Two people who are the most pioneering Human Rights activists of this country.
Now going to the second point.
Meenakshi Lekhi says “I don’t go by what Teesta Setalvad has to say because she has been repeatedly committing perjury before the court” and apparently several courts have agreed to the same. At this point Teesta Setalvad says “That is another lie. No court has held me guilty of perjury. You are committing perjury on the channel everyday”.
Arnab Goswami, even at the point when Lekhi says Setalvad is responsible for many cases of perjury you didn’t intervene with facts. You didn’t even ask Lekhi which cases were she referring to. It is hard to believe that YOU didn’t think that the NATION would want to know the truth of Teesta Setalvad.
Is it that the one who thinks that the Nation wants to KNOW this and that didn’t try KNOWING that no Court has found Teesta Setalvad responsible of perjury. In fact on the contrary Supreme Court has in past told Gujrat Government and Modi to behave. Kindly read and enlighten yourself.
When Teesta Setalvad walked out of the frame Meenakshi Lekhi says she was going to cite Zahira Shaikh matter. I don’t know what happened in your discussion after this YOU TUBE clip ends. However, looking at the fact that you either didn’t know about the Zakia Jafri case on the day you had called a panel on a Prime Time show to discuss the same case or chose not to intervene for some other reason my two bits about Zahira Sheikh. Supreme Court had slammed Zahira Sheikh for flip flops. She was eventually sent behind bars for a year.
Mr Goswami, some of us left journalism because we were uninspired and slothful. We didn’t have your drive. You seem energetic and happy with your job!
Many of us also think that you are smart in your own way. Your shows grab eyeballs. I loved your interview with Kiran Bedi.
However, having engaged with those vacuities allow me to reiterate in no uncertain terms that you were very lazy when it came to reporting for Gujrat victims, Zakia Jaferi case, Zahira Sheikh case and in restoring your guest’s dignity in the same way you restore yours.
Lekhi and Jethmalani call Teesta Setalvad the queen of Perjury in debates that were meant to assess and analyse Modi’s role in Gulberg. They ended up being attacks on the petitioner. You can’t be blamed for the motives, politics and stupidity of You Tube Commentators. However, I can’t help but wonder aren’t you guilty of not doing your job well?
You allowed Lekhi and Jethmalani derail the debate repeatedly.
Quite like you many other influential people have let the Zakia Jafri Vs State of Gujrat case turn into Teesta Setalvad Vs State of Gujrat case! Looks like many institutions in this country are not doing their job well.
I wish you, your Prime Time show and our Prime Minister good luck!
BTW for today’s discussion do read this piece –