According to report, Doordarshan and Akashvani separately recorded a six-minute speech of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Aug 12 last, which was scheduled to be broadcast and telecast on Aug 14 evening. At the eleventh hour both the institutions sent advisory to Chief Minister to reshape his speech otherwise, it will not air but Mr Sarkar refused. In the speech Mr Sarkar had attacked the Modi led government and BJP without naming, which was circulated later through state information department.
Mr Sarkar said in the speech, “A conspiracy is hatched to create a division by trying to transform India into a state believing in a particular religion and spreading message of Gau Raksha (Cow protection). The minority and Dalit communities were being attacked and denied security and the Centre’s anti-people policy was affecting peace and tranquillity”. He had further mentioned that unemployment and poverty are prevailing while the government is not taking any step to change the economic policy of the corporate.
The unholy tendencies cannot be harboured or tolerated because such disruptive attempts are contrary to the goals, dreams and ideals of our freedom struggle. “The followers of those who are not associated with freedom movement, rather sabotaged the struggle, were servile to the atrocious, plunderer and merciless British, aligned with the anti-national forces having decorated themselves today in different names and colours are striking at the root of unity and integrity of India," Mr Sarkar mentioned in his speech.
However, Prasar Bharati officials stated that the speech any chief minister must not contain any politics at least when he is going address the people in state owned broadcasters. “A few portion of his speech is found contradictory to the spirit of Independence Day celebration rather appeared to be politically motivated.
The top level of Prasar Bharati had reviewed the content meticulously and then requested him to modify – nothing wrong in it”. The officials, however, pointed out as a public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has certain rule and regulation, and nothing can be done without bypassing the code. “The request was humble to the Chief Minister for some modification but he did not accept it. Being public servants, we are duty bound and followers of the rule and Chief Minister is a constitutional post and he attained it through oath,” they added.
The letter which sent by assistant director of programmes (policy) for director general, Sanjiv Dosajh said, "Keeping in view the sanctity and solemnity attached with the occasion the broadcast is meant for, the CEO, Prasar Bharati was also consulted and the collective decision taken at Delhi advises that the broadcast may not go with its existing content. AIR/Prasar Bharati will however be more than happy if the chief minister agrees to reshape the content making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiments of the people of India at large." The CPI-M state committee, however, called for protest across the state against central government.
The party secretary Bijan Dhar alleged that, “the BJP led government at the Centre violated federal norms and desperately trying to guide the nation in religious line, which cannot be tolerated.” Meanwhile, BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb termed the speech of Mr Sarkar as “unexpected and reflection of a shadow of anti-Indians.” He said, “Mr Sarkar being a senior politician and chief minister must know what to be said in Independence Day.
The people wanted to the country’s progress from him his contribution to country’s progress and his future plan. But he made it political like previous occasions when nobody cares who is saying what”. “It is once again proved that Manik Sarkar misused his post and office for political purposes. We condemn it and he must know the differences of Manmohan Singh government and the Modi government. But I don’t know why Prasar Bharati did not air the speech – it is purely administrative,” Deb added. The Pradesh Congress Committee has also stood with CPI-M and accused the Central government of interfering the functioning of the states violating federal norms and constitutional mandate. (UNI)