May 23, 2017
Miffed Military ‘bars’ entry of local media to cover President’s visit. Collector snubs Journos, says national anthem to be played 5 times and disrespect to anthem could turn an embarrassment.
Udhagamandalam: It was a wait in vain for the press corps in this hill station on Tuesday as the organisers of the President’s event that included the Defence officials and the District Administration ‘barred” entry to cover the event following the antics of a scribe of The Hindu who had earlier refused to rise for the national anthem inside a Defense establishment.
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee had participated as Chief Guest in the 159th Founder’s Day celebrations of
The Lawrence School in Lovedale near here on Tuesday.
The members of the corps including video journalists and photographers numbering over 30 had gathered near the Collectorate to get their ID cards and proceed to Lovedale, about six kilometers away.The cards were to be handed over by the organizers of the function. About four days ago photographs of the journalists had been obtained for preparing the ID cards.
However the journalists were informed on Tuesday morning that they had not been invited and they could take photographs of the President’s convoy as it passed the Collectorate while on its way to Lovedale.
Obviously upset over the development some of the journalists particularly those working for TV channels had approached the Nilgiris Collector P.Sankar.
The Collector had reportedly expressed his helplessness and made a veiled reference to a recent incident in which the reporter of The Hindu had allegedly shown disrespect to the national anthem while attending a function at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington near Coonoor.
He pointed out that at the function in Lovedale, the national anthem was scheduled to be played five times and it may be an embarrassment if the incident recurs.
Senior journalists in Ooty felt that the entire media fraternity has been snubbed because of the antics of one particular reporter. “We do not approve of his behaviour. How is it fair to disallow everyone because of the misconduct of one particular person?”, they queried.
It may be recalled that an FIR was filed against the scribe following the April 13 incident. Sources in the defence establishment told Covai Post then that two Colonel in full uniform requested the journalist in question to stand.
But the journalist was found ‘sitting carelessly,’ when the National Anthem was played.
The scribe reportedly told the officials that he was “not interested” in standing up and does not respect the anthem or the flag.