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Letter to Editor, The Hindu- Tamil’s Gross Distortion of Facts

Sir,

It is with deep pain and a sense of shock that we bring to your notice the gross misrepresentation of truth and distortion of facts about PMANE co-ordinator S.P. Udayakumar disallowed from flying to Nepal in The Hindu Tamil today.

While The Hindu (English) has rightly said that Udayakumar was stopped from flying to Nepal where he was scheduled to attend a meeting, The Hindu Tamil’s gross distortion of facts is as follows.

1. The Tamil report says he was ‘caught’ in Delhi airport while the English rightly says he was stopped from flying to Nepal. Any journalist following the PMANE struggle would know that Mr. Udayakumar has had a free movement in the country. To say that he was ‘caught’ is malicious and motivated.

2. The Tamil report says he was planning to fly to another country from Nepal. Mr. Udayakumar does not possess a passport and for a journalist to not know that to travel anywhere from Nepal, an Indian citizen would require a passport is startling, to say the least. The writer has not bothered to check with Mr. Udayakumar about this.

3. The report (in The Hindu Tamil) says he was detained and likely to be arrested. The fact is the Immigration authorities were suggesting that he cannot go to Nepal. The talks to dissuade him from flying lasted for over two hours but this has magically been turned into ‘detention’ and likely arrest in the newspaper.

4. Mr. Udayakumar walked out of Delhi airport around 7.00 p.m. While the English report mentions he was let off, the Tamil report says ‘he was in detention and likely to be arrested.’ Now that he has been ‘let off’, we wish to know the designs behind the malicious Tamil report.

As you might be aware, Mr Udayakumar has been constantly available for comments but The Hindu Tamil has consistently filed stories about him without his version which we believe is unethical journalism coming as it does from an institution like The Hindu.

The fact that two newspapers from the same group can file entirely different reports on same issue is not just misleading your reader but hoodwinking them.

We believe this report has a malicious intention of showing Mr Udayakumar in poor light just when the PMANE’s struggle has begun gaining the confidence of mainstream political parties in Tamil Nadu including the DMK and the Left.

The entire report is not becoming of a newspaper like the The Hindu and any discerning reader will know the report is motivated and malicious which denies Udayakumar his due.

With such reports, it would not be long before The Hindu Tamil is stopped being seen as a newspaper from a reputed institution and join the league of Tamil newspapers known for their sensationalism and distortion of facts to suit their fancies.

All we expect from a newspaper which claims to have set standards for ethical journalism is to refrain from distorting facts and misrepresenting truth.

I am confident corrective measures will be taken at the earliest.

Best
Sundarrajan
Poovulagin Nanbargal

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