It is shameful that Gauhar Raza, a well known poet, scientist and science activist should be attacked by Zee News for being "anti-national". Zee does not seem to be ashamed of its doctored videos on JNU, and is continuing with spreading false and malicious propaganda as "news". Gauhar talks with Newsclick on how such misleading and hateful news items has put him and his family at risk, and why he is taking this up with the News Broadcasters Association. He recalled his years spent in his work on the popular science movement, the Bharat Vigyan Jatha in 1987, and his work for spreading scientific temper and secular values. He had been a target of Muslim fundamentalists in the past. Now he is being labelled an "anti-national" for reciting poems at the 51st Shankar-Shad (Indo-Pak) Mushaira, a famous poetic festival that has continued for more than six decades with poets from both countries participating.
In his interview with Newsclick, Mr. Raza said that in the past, artists, poets and writers have been targeted by the ruling classes whenever they dissent. But this is the first time in India that the media has taken up this role. This is a threat to Indian democracy. He pointed out that if intolerance continues to grow like this, with the media now being coopted by the ruling dispensation, then India may not be too far from following in the footsteps of Pakistan.