Star Majha exposes Raj Purohit, Mumbai Pani Puri Issue

May 2011. Week 1
Star Majha exposes Raj Purohit
Star Majha Logo

In an act, what one may call as shameless, the BJP Mumbai chief Raj Purohit was found making provocative speech in front of the rally of Vendors at Azaad Maidan , Mumbai. Mr. Purohit not only took side of the Panipuri Vendor, who was caught in a camera of a citizen Journalist, urinating in the same pot used for serving at his stall; but also went on to call the entire sting operation as bogus. He also blamed the electronic media for showing such an act and went on further to pass derogatory remarks on the young girl- Ankita , who filmed the entire episode. To please the mob, he further went on to compare the young girl with the women from Red light area. “No girl from decent family, would dare to shoot such a film and even the women from Red light area would not like to be witness to such an act,” he said, in the clipping of his speech, which was shown by Star Majha channel. His speech clearly indicated how much our politicians are concerned about public health and how much they can abandon their pride to please a section of community for votes.

Watching the developments and adverse reactions coming from the people in Mumbai, the BJP chief asked the people to pardon him for making such remarks. The Star Majha channel which held a debate over this issue at prime on Thursday 5th May, also invited Mr. Raj Purohit to participate in the programme over phone. Initially, the Mumbai BJP President denied having made any remarks on any party supporting the act of the girl, but watching the attacking mood of many participants, including Mr. Bala Nandgaonkar, MLA; he went on defensive, seeking an apology for such an act. But, the News Editor of Star Majha Mr. Rajiv Khandekar completely exposed the politician for stooping so low while making such filthy remarks against a girl and then backing out from his own words with an apology.

When Mr. Purohit questioned the role played by the news channel in this episode, the frank editor hit back stating that his channel was for all the good work done by the citizens in public welfare and would speak louder against all such people who try to defend the miscreants. The MNS MLA who countered the BJP Mumbai chief, stated that his party would have felicitated any girl for such an act of bravery, whether she was a Maharashtrian or a non-Maharashtrian, as it was all in public interest.  

The issue is expected to flare up further, with MNS leaders seeking the arrest of Mr. Purohit .” How can he make such derogatory remark against a minor girl? She hasn’t done anything bad. She has exposed the Vendor and so we have lodged an FIR and demanded his arrest,” said Ms. Shalini Thackery, Vice-president of MNS, while speaking to the channel. A case has been registered by Police under section 509 of IPC against Mr. Purohit and they are collecting evidence. In the meanwhile, Star Majha  channel have assured their viewers that they would continue to take up all such issues affecting public welfare.

In another interesting development on the same day, IBN-Lokmat and Zee 24 Taas brought out a detailed report on the blunder of  the Pune Charity Commissioner’s office responsible for first issuing a notice to NGO Hind Swaraj Trust  headed by Anna Hazare for non submission of  audited accounts and then after finding everything in order, later issuing another letter of apology. The channels stated that such irregularity may be investigated , on what basis such notice was issued.  Mr. Hazare will be filing a defamatory suit against this office for issuing such wrong notice against his trust and then passing on the information to the media, only to malign his image. Looking at these two cases cited above, it is clear that it has now become a practice to pull someone into controversy and later send an apology for the mistake. Defamatory suit against such practices should teach such people a lesson.

by Ulhas Shirke © MMW

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