‘My primary job is to speak truth to power’: Journalist Rohini Singh responds to Jay Shah’s threat

NEW DELHI: After being slapped with a defamation case, ‘The Wire’ journalist Rohini Singh, who broke an investigative piece into in business enterprises run by BJP President Amit Shah‘s son stood up for herself saying her job “is to speak truth to power. To question the government of the day.”

Amit Shah’s son Jay Amitbhai Shah on Monday filed a Rs 100 crores defamation case against the independent news portal ‘The Wire’ over a report claiming his firm’s turnover grew manifold after the party came to power.

A report, written by Rohini Singh details the miraculous growth of Jay Shah’s company, Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, from revenues of Rs. 50,000 in 2014-’15 to Rs. 80.5 crore in 2015-’16.

In a Facebook post, Singh responded to the threats and refused to back down saying that her primary job “is to speak truth to power.”

Her Facebook post reads, “I don’t want to write a sanctimonious status note on what other journalists should do. I can only speak for myself. My primary job is to speak truth to power. To question the government of the day. In 2011 when I wrote the story on Robert Vadra’s dealings with DLF, I don’t remember the sort of backlash that I see now. There were no ‘only whatsapp or FaceTime audio from now’ sort of messages from sources. No seeking to shift the location of meetings to cafes resembling dungeons! A person close to a senior BJP leader brags our call record details are with the party bosses. (Good for them, I say!;)) And of course the low level slander campaign online.

“Intimidation and harassment are tools often used by powerful people to get journalists to toe the line. As someone famously once said and I paraphrase, news is something someone wants to suppress, everything else is advertising. I don’t know about others but I don’t wish to lose focus of that. I would rather quit journalism than do the sort of reportage that I see often around me. Many of you have been extremely kind to me and are investing me with qualities I probably don’t have. I don’t do the sort of stories I do because I am ‘ brave’. I do them because that’s journalism and not bravery.”