Sakshi takes on Srini Raju of TV9

Srini Raju of TV9

Indian media in general and Telugu media in particular are not particularly known for truthfulness, but Sakshi paper and channel have been touching new lows in journalism of late. The new trend speaks volumes for the ill-effects of political aggrandizement of the media business.

Today’s Sakshi paper ‘exposes’ the land mafia consisting of Srini Raju of TV9, Narne Srinivasa Rao of Janma Bhumi Estates and some unknown Kurra Srinivasa Rao. No need to mention that all these ‘nefarious’ businessmen are dubbed as ‘benamis’ of Chandrababu Naidu. Though the report mentions three names, it concerns itself mostly with Chintalapati Srinivisa Raju, known as Srini Raju.

Srini Raju apparently bought and sold large tracts of land in and around Hyderabad about the year 2000, according to Sakshi. Raju,who was still in the process of divesting his shares in Satyam, was not known much around this time and had not even launched TV9. The channel came into existence in 2004.

Whether Raju committed any irregularities in his land transactions is only a matter of allegations by Sakshi, but the interesting aspect of the report is the nexus that the paper automatically attributes to the businessman with Chandrababu Naidu.

Just because Jagan has an issue with TV9 over its critical reporting of the leader, Sakshi wants to gun him. But how could Sakshi make such baseless allegations over the alleged nexus, when TV9 was the blue-eyed channel of  his Chief Minister-father for ‘helping’ in nailing Ramoji Rao over Margadarsi and other cases is a million dollar question.

YSR would even grant a special paid interview to TV9 those days. Besides, Satyavedu SEZ, in which Srini Raju is said to be a partner, was reportedly a largess from the late Chief Minister.

Coming to Narne Srinivasa Rao, a close relative of Naidu, Sakshi makes sweeping charges without an iota of evidence. Narne’s land deals might be dubious but the man made most of his business during YSR’s term. And Naidu is not known to have entertained him at any point during his regime as Chief Minister.

As for Kurra Srinivasa Rao, except for making tendentious and vague remarks about his being benefited because of relaxations to 111 GO, there is nothing substantial.

Chandrababu Naidu might have committed many sins during his stint, but the clumsy and motivated attempt of Sakshi at throwing every stone available around without a shred of evidence is an exercise in overdose of media misuse.

It is a tragedy of journalism in this state that Sakshi should claim to be a foil to Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy. The cure is more potentially poisonous than the disease!