Heckling of media at Anupam Kher rally ‘disturbing’: Khurshid

Reacting sharply to heckling of media in the march organised by actor Anupam Kher to counter protests by writers and artistes on ‘intolerance’, Congress today said these are “disturbing scenes” and demanded “severest action” against those responsible for it.

“If someone wants to show solidarity with Government, we have no problems. They are welcome to do so. The only thing is in showing solidarity to the government, why rough up journalists, who are just doing a job?

“These are very disturbing scenes that every time you disagree or you think that there is a disagreement with the media, you start roughing up individual journalists. This is unacceptable,” senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said.

He was reacting after some media persons were heckled by participants in the march organised by actor Anupam Kher to counter the protests by writers and artistes against “rising intolerance” in the country.

The ‘March For India’ rally from National Museum to Rashtrapati Bhavan was also joined by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, Ashoke Pandit, Priyadarshan, Manoj Joshi, Abhijeet Bhattacharya and writer Madhu Kishwar among others.

But the march turned ugly when some people started shouting anti-media slogans and heckled journalists covering the march.

Criticising the incident, Khurshid said, “I think the answer lies in severest action under the law of assault to be taken against those persons. The problem that is happening now in the country is that people who break the law have a feeling that nobody is going to make them accountable.”

The Congress leader said this assault “may have something to do with the fact that senior leaders of BJP are today in government without having to submit themselves to accountability for wrongs done.”

“And I think this a great tragedy and a major matter of concern for the future of our nation,” he said.

Calling for a debate about the state of affairs in the country, Khurshid said people have a right to protest if they feel that the country is in serious crisis and there is growing intolerance in the country.

“If somebody wants to refute this, they are welcome to do so. But why don’t they travel to places like Dadri and explain to people who have suffered, instead of going and repeating this refrain to the President of India,” he said.