(This video was originally published on 26 March 2018. It is being republished to mark Ravish Kumar winning the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019.)
On a day when chilling details of suspicious deaths of journalists in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh came out, senior news anchor Ravish Kumar spoke to The Quint about how these atrocities against media personnel impact everyone.
During protests by journalists in New Delhi over the alleged manhandling of a female photojournalist by the police officers and alleged molestation of another reporter by a Station House officer (SHO), Kumar said, “It is sad that only journalists show up for protests when other scribes get beaten up. This affects everyone.”
The NDTV India anchor explains that a journalist was “targeted” and attacked while covering a march against fee hikes in colleges. “The hike affects everyone — the officers, the police personnel who send their kids to colleges,” Kumar said.
The entire city should have showed up for the protest. If journalists keep on getting attacked like this who will keep a check on the government? Who will bring up the issue of unemployment, the problems faced by farmers?Raveesh Kumar
Kumar added that freedom of press is being curbed and the government is taking violence against journalists for granted.
The press always fights for the rights of others. Yet, we get beaten while covering the battles that others are fighting.
‘Journalists in Smaller Towns Worse Off’
Referring to the incident of a speeding SUV mowing down two reporters in Bihar’s Bhojpur, Ravish Kumar said that the conditions in which journalists work in small towns or rural areas is even worse.
Politicians have created a criminal nexus and such attacks on journalists only strengthens them.
The senior reporter, citing numerous examples, was pessimistic that any action will be taken against those who assaulted the HT journalist, but added that by holding such marches we “act as a burden on their conscience” so that they remember what they did wrong.