Posted 08 Jan 2014
Political and human rights activists have strongly condemned Sun TV for stopping a popular Tamil talk show anchored by political analyst Veerapandian for the last 17 years, succumbing to pressure from the BJP.
They allege that Sun TV had taken the decision to stop the program following a letter from the BJP’s state office secretary Sarvothaman to its MD on the 23rd of last month stating that no BJP representative would take part in Veerapandian’s programs on the channel.
A joint statement issued by a group of journalists, writers and activists stated, “A few weeks ago Veerapandian participated in a meeting in Chennai wherein a Human Rights organization released its fact finding report on the Muzaffarnagar riots.
“While speaking on the occasion Veerapandian made certain critical remarks on the BJP and its Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendera Modi. Some persons had uploaded his speech in the social media.”
They said that in his letter Sarvothaman had stated that ”Veerapandian’s speech was divisive and could create problems between two groups, and his programs on Sun TV has never been impartial.”
They alleged that the BJP leader had also requested for action to be taken against Veerapandian.
The statement further added that “consequently from last Saturday, Sun TV has stopped telecasting Veerapandian’s programs,” and appealed to Sun TV to allow Veerapandian “to resume his duties as an anchor person.”
“India is a Democratic Republic. To express one’s opinions freely and without fear is one of the basic rights accorded to its citizens in the constitution. This right is fundamental to all citizens of India including Press and Media people,” the statement said.
Following are the signatories to the statement:
K. Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam
M. Sudarsana Nachiyappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry
Tha. Pandian State Secretary, CPI
Gnanadesigan State President, TNCC
S. Peter Alphonse, Ex. Member of Parliament
Thol. Thirumavalavan, MP and President, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi
M.H. Jawahirullah MLA and Legislative Party Leader, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi
K. M. Kader Mohideen Ex. MP and General Secretary, Indian Union Muslim League
Viduthalai Rajendran, General Secretary, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam
Senthamilan. Seeman, Chief Coordinator, Naam Thamizhar Katchi
Suba. Veerapandian, President, Dravida Iyakka Thamilar Peravai
Tamil Selvan, State Secretary, Progressive Writers & Artist Association
Peter Fernando, Archbishop of Madurai
Kaviko Abdul Rahman, Poet & Writer
Henri Thiphange, Executive Director, Peoples’ Watch
A. Marx, Human Right Activist
Kavingnar Manushya Puthiran, Publisher
Thirumurugan Gandhi, Coordinator, May 17 Movement
J.S. Rifayee, President, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam
Abdul Rahman, Member of Parliament, Vellore Constituency
Kovai Ku. Ramakritinan, General Secretary, Thanthai Periyar Thi.Ka
M. Ezra Sargunam, Bishop,Evangelical Church of India and Founder, Indhiya Samuga Neethi Iyakkam
Pe. Maniyarasan, President, Tamildesa Podhu Udamai Katchi
A. Kumaresan, Cheif Editor, Theekhadir
Devasagayam, Bishop CSI, Chennai
Gnani, Writer & Journalist
V. Suresh, National General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Ko. Sugumaran, Makkal Urimai Kootamaippu
TSS Mani, Journalist
Senthil, Coordinator, Save Tamils Movement – TWL Bureau