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Sreenivasan Jain Steps Down from NDTV

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The senior journalist and popular news anchor, Sreenivasan Jain, has announced his resignation from New Delhi Television (NDTV) after a three-decade-long career. Taking to his social media account on Twitter, Jain tweeted that it was not easy to quit after such a long stint.

A Series of Resignations at NDTV

The resignation of Jain follows a series of resignations of the senior figures in the media house after the acquisition of NDTV by the Adani Group. Along with Jain, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, the founders and promoters of NDTV, also resigned as directors of RRPR Holding Private Limited (RRPRH). Senior journalist Ravish Kumar also stepped down from his position. In addition, NDTV’s Chief Strategy Officer Arijit Chatterjee and Chief Technology and Product Officer Kawaljit Singh Bedi also had resigned from their positions.

Sreenivasan Jain’s Controversies

Bail Bond for Close Friend

Sreenivasan Jain has had a number of controversies throughout his career as a news anchor. In July 2022, he provided a surety bond of ₹50,000 to secure bail for his close friend, Mohammed Zubair. He was involved in dubious fact-checking activities. 

Allegations About the Quality of India’s Covaxin Vaccine

In August 2021, he made a startling claim on Twitter that the initial batches of India’s indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, were not of the right quality, as alleged by the Chairperson of the National Vaccine Advisory Group, Dr. N K Arora. The tweet was later deleted.

Humiliations by Guests

While hosting various shows, Sreenivasan Jain had been humiliated by his guests on multiple occasions. Businessman Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had once told him, “I find you prejudiced. I find NDTV prejudiced against the government…The press is not a political animal. You are supposed to be unprejudiced.” 

He had also attempted to solicit negative comments against the Modi government from HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh but was told that all the discussion about curbing dissent and intolerance was exaggerated and the government was willing to discuss matters.

Downplaying Terrorist Plot to Assassinate PM Narendra Modi

The true highlight of his career at NDTV was his attempt to downplay a vicious plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Ishrat Jahan. 

He had claimed that terrorists such as Ishrat Jahan, who was gunned down by the Gujarat Police during an encounter, had come to only execute a ‘chota-mota’ (small-time) bomb blast and not to kill the then Gujarat Chief Minister. Furthermore, he had even suggested that the terrorist deserved a ‘fair trial’, thereby trying to paint terrorism as a ‘no-big-deal’ issue. This vicious attempt to provide intellectual cover fire to a slain terrorist has been the key highlight of his stint at NDTV.

Reactions on Resignation

Nidhi Razdan, who is consulting editor with NDTV, tweeted, “You will shine in whatever you do Vasu, will miss you a lot. You’ve always been a trailblazer. Cheers to one of the finest journalists out there.” 

Find below some other reactions of Maya Verma, Shashi Tharoor, etc.

Conclusion

Sreenivasan Jain has certainly left a mark in the Indian media landscape with his 30 years of experience in NDTV. His resignation comes at a time when the channel is transitioning to a new leadership team. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the channel and its journalists.

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