At a time when the Coronavirus is destroying not only the health of people around the world but also economies of countries worldwide, it is condemnable that leading news television channel Sun News has sacked three employees – Yoga, Kalaiselvan and Sivakumar.
This move by the channel’s management comes at a time when the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and authorities have clearly recommended that employees should not be laid off during the COVID-19 crisis.
That the three employees have been sacked for a meme going on air, which was found to be offensive to the management does not cut ice. The management has every right to reprimand the employees for any perceived misconduct but to sack them at a time of such a crisis is inhuman.
We would like to remind the Sun News management that there are no job opportunities available at this time. These three employees are bread winners and families are dependent on their earnings. Their future is now a big question mark due to the unnecessary action taken by the Sun News management.
The Tamil Nadu Women Journalists Association demands that the management of Sun News must reinstate the three employees – Yoga, Kalaiselvan and Sivakumar – and ensure that they are not put to any hardship. Sun News must follow the law of the land especially in these uncertain times.
On a separate note, we take a positive view of the exit of Mr Raaja, editor of Sun News. He has been sacked from the firm in 2013 on charges of sexual harassment but within a few months he had come back to the newsroom and resumed work. The Sun Group management did not initiate a proper enquiry nor did they stand by the victims of alleged sexual harassment. While Mr Raaja’s sacking was over an offensive meme and not over the allegations of sexual harassment, it is still, in our view, a decision that has been seven years late in arriving. We welcome this move and we hope that the long arms of the law will finally catch up with Mr Raaja in the near future.