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June 20, 2017 / subramanyam

NDTV Frauds — My Take

There was a huge uproar in the country when CBI conducted raids on the properties of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy of the NDTV. A few in the media said that the freedom of the press was being attacked, some did solidarity marches, a few people did long debates on the television during prime time and a few others wrote lengthy opinion columns and supported NDTV.
To be honest, I have little respect for the NDTV. To be honest, I stopped watching the channel after 2009. Radia tapes expose, the biased way in which NDTV conducted debates, the selective editing of Baba Ramdev’s interview, support for the BBC documentary, etc. were the final nails in the coffin.
Wat surprised me was Arun Shourie’s support to NDTV. There were allegations regarding the fraudulent practices of NDTV for quite some time now. However, this is the first time the investigative agencies conducted raids. Now, Why does a man of Arun Shourie’s stature support NDTV? This got me thinking and I began searching for more information. In this quest, I ended up reading NDTV Frauds by Sri Iyer and here is what I feel about NDTVFrauds1-696x456the book.
In just 160 pages this book exposes all the fraudulent activities of NDTV and its founders. It begins with Prannoy Roy’s ascent to fame in the late 90’s. Then the author dwells on how NDTV’s initial fraud with Doordarshan and the way they got away with it. We get to see the mention of C.M.Ibrahim who in his capacity as the I & B minister wanted the fraudulent activities of NDTV to be investigated. The author then tells us as to how these files moved to cold storage when NDA-I took over nad Arun Jaitley was in charge of the I&B ministry. Then, we get to see the Babu-Neta-Media Nexus that came into existence and how many children of Netas and government babus ended up as journalists in NDTV.
With the ascent of UPA -I in NewDelhi’s power corridors, NDTV’s prominence touched new heights. Neta’s were queuing up to be in the good books of the television and NDTV was making its presence felt in governance also. Here the channel resorted bigger financial malpractices. The author speaks about the shady overseas companies (Shell Companies) that the channel set up, the support the channel received from the government; the way banks funded their illegal transactions, the way they had a pie in the deals, scams, etc…. This section is extremely objective and informative. We see the way the stock manipulation was done.  The way NDTV received funds from shell companies via murky deals and the way in which they cooked their books to show losses.

The Author — Sree Iyer

Was this hegemony of NDTV never challenged?  The book brings to light the plight of another hero of India.  These frauds of NDTV were first caught and brought to life by and income tax officer called Mr. Srivastava. This income tax officer tried to bring to light the frauds of NDTVas early as 2009. This book deals with his story too. I felt sad for him when I read that the UPA government and its finance minister hounded this man and had him suspended. All this for raising his voice against this rot called NDTV.

The author sys that NDA-2 did reinstate this officer. The probe resumed, but NDTV did have a a big network and good contacts in Finance Ministry. This ensured that the pace of probe was slow. Now that the wheels of law have moved, let us see if promoters are brought to book for all the frauds that they committed.
I thank Sree Iyer for bringing out such an informative book on the frauds of NDTV. A lot of research went into the book, and I commend the author for doing a great job.
The media that controlled the narrative in the country for almost a decade now. NDTV was at the forefront of this. They kept telling one and all about the importance of being good and being transparent. They, however had a lot of dirt to hide. By bringing their wrongdoings in to the public domain the author has done a great service to the nation. In future, people of this sort would be forced to walk the talk.
I would recommend every Indian to read this book and understand the reality behind this famed news channel. For, media is the fourth pillar of democracy and it should be clean to report things without a bias.
Please do read this book. It is a must read.
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