A new argument is being floated by the Government that the question of autonomy does not arise now, since Doordarshan is not the only network functioning in the country. I am surprised to see that a person like Shri Nitish Sengupta has also mentioned about that argument. This is a very deceiving argument. Since many other TV channels are already in the country, it is most important that Doordarshan and AIR should be autonomous.

It should be well-managed. Doordarshan may be owned by the Government but it should not be controlled by the Government on a day to day basis.

Sir, the offices of the Doordarshan and All India Radio should not be subordinate to the Shastri Bhawan only. They should be independent entities. There are different broadcasting systems in every part of the world which are owned and controlled by the Government, but those Governments broadly direct the organisations. It is only through this type of an autonomy that the Doordarshan can effectively compete with other channels in the country and reach the people

֮ ɨɮɴ Vvɴ ({ɮx) : ɦ{i ɽn, xɪɨ 193 E +vx |ɺɮ ɮi E EɪEh E Ƥv nx SS * ɮ j ɽn Iɨ + +ɶ E nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E fS nx E ʱɪ EɮMɮ + Vɤi En =`ɪM * + iE ɮi |<] Sxɱ + Mɪ Ex |ɺɮ ɮi E iǨx fS E Vɤi xx M* |ɺɮ ɮi nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E |Sɮ Eɪ Eix ʽ , ɽ Sx E i * ɮ ɮEɮ ʴɹ nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E ɰ{ E nM, =E E nx M, j ɽn ɽ Vxx SɽM* |ɺɮ ɮi E {xM`x E ʱɪ +{x ix M E BE E] E M`x E * <E EɪEɱ Eix M + ɽ E] +{x ʮ{] E iE nM, Z +ɶ E SS E n xxҪ j V +{x =iiɮ nx E +Mi EM*

ɦ{i ɽn, J ɴɱ nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E ɪiii E * xx E n |ɺɮ ɮi E EɮMɮ fM M E VɪM i xʶSi { Sx vɨ E Mhɴii E Wɤi E V EM* |ɺɮ ɮi E ʴɶɺxҪi E M, ɮi ɮEɮ ʴɹ nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E |ɺɮ Ij gx E ʱɪ E EM, ɽ BE ɽi{h ɴɱ * |ɺɮ ɮi E +iMi nڮnx + b {ɮ Oɨh ɮi E nx x ɽi Vɰ , <ɨ Sɽ ɺl ʶI *

Sɽ ɺl , Sɽ ʶI , ɮ n ʴʴvi ɱ n , < n +xE ɹB , Ex V lxҪ ɹB , =xE ʱB nڮnx + +Eɶɴh E Vn Vn ɨɪ nx E Vɰi * ʴɶ { V ɮ` |Oɨ Sɱi , =xE ʱB nڮnx + +Eɶɴh Vn Vn ɨɪ gx E Eʶɶ E* <ix EE +{x i ɨ{i Ei * vxɴn*

Ҧ> E ɽɱ (ɱMƴ) : ɦ{i ɽn, +{x Z x E ɨɪ n, =E ʱB +{E vxɴn Ei * +V n nx E n ɤ M 2000 ɹ {n{h EM* Ex = {n{h E E ɽi , Vɤ n 50 |iɶi M xɮIɮ * E{h E Eɮh VMɽ-VMɽ M ɮ V * E<-E< ʴɦM 38 xɪ { n +nʨɪ E +ɨnx , B ʺli ɮ n E * Eix Ex EV {ɺ x Ex E Eɮh +iɽi E * ɽ S E ɮ n 70 Һn Ex E n * Ex =xE ɮ nڮnx {ɮ E< i xɽ +i * Jɱ c-c M E S- +i E M ɽ Ei , ɽ Ei * E E S i +i ? E< lx {ɮ cE xɽ , i nڮ E i * E< ʴv xɽ * +n Vi ʴɦM 1980 ] Exx x, = Exx E Vɽ ʴEɺ E Eɨ `{ Mɪ * E nڮnx ɱ E ɽ Mɪ , E nڮnx E ɤ E =vɮ Mɪ , E E =xx ɽ VE nJ E E ɱi * ɽn, nڮnx E ɮ <ix EM E V iɱɤ Ji , ɽ Vn {x {ҪM, Ex E ɽ iɱɤ + E ʱB xɽ * ɮEɮ ɦ E ʱB i + = < ɮ Sx SʽB* +{E vɨ BE i Ex Sɽi E ɤɺɽ +bE x ʴvx xɪ ... (ɴvx)

MR. CHAIRMAN : Kindly speak on the subject under discussion. You can talk about Dr. Ambedkar when you speak on the Constitution.

Ҧ> E ɽɱ : Vɤ .{. ʺƽ E ɮEɮ l, iɤ =xx ɤɺɽ E i Sj xɴx E Eʶɶ E, =xx i Sj xɴɪ* ɤɺɽ E V {iɱ , ɽ Sɮ nx iE E ɦ ɨSɮ xɽ nJɪ n* nڮnx E ɤ <ix EɨS * .{. ʺƽ E ɮEɮ l, ʡ =xx Sɮ nx iE < xɽ nJɪ* x E ɦ xɪɨ 377 E iɽi n E ɤɺɽ E Sj nڮnx {ɮ nJɪ* Ex ɤ M B E =xx xɽ n* E nڮnx +ɨ M E ʱB xɽ * nڮnx ɤE , = ɤE ɽM x SʽB* E {ɮ +ɮ{ xɽ M * Ex V iɱɤ Ji , ɽ {x Vn i * Ex ɦ E ʱB =E ={ɪM x SʽB* <ix EE +{x i ɨ{i Ei *

SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL (CHANDIGARH): I submit that you kindly take the discussion to tomorrow rather than allowing only two minutes to each Member.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The time allotted or this discussion does not permit more time to Members. This is the time allotted by the Business Advisory Committee.

SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL : Members are making valid suggestions. Some time should be given to them to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The time is allotted by the Business Advisory Committee.

SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL : We do allocate time in the Business Advisory Committee that way but always more time is given to the Members to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, let them consume more time.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Sir, I would like to express my displeasure at the way the BJP Members are being treated. It is most unfortunate that a party with 182 Members has got only one Member to speak on its behalf.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You have your Minister sitting here.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Does it mean that we do not need to come to the House at all? ...(Interruptions)

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : They might be very magnanimous ...(Interruptions)...Does it apply for only the Ministers? If so, then there is no need of us coming to this House at all. We have not come here just to raise our hands.

MR. CHAIRMAN : The time allotted for your party has already been exhausted by your Member.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Sir, speaking in this House is in itself an incentive. We go to the Library and prepare the subject for hours together, and after that when we come here to speak, you say that there is no time for the Ruling party Members... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pramod Mahajan has given it in writing that `if only the time permits, you allow more Members to speak'.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Sir, you are controlling the House here. The Chair is controlling this House. That is the point, I just want to make.

MR. CHAIRMAN: In the morning at 10 o' clock, you have different views.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Because we belong to the Ruling party, you cannot be so partial to us. Three Members from the Congress party have already spoken on this subject. You tell us. Just to speak in this House, we will have to become Ministers, then only, you will allow us to speak! I express my deepest displeasure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I could give you any time you want because I do not have any other work here on the Chair. But a decision had been taken in the BAC.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : It would have been better just to have been elected as a Member of a single-Member party so that on every subject, I could have spoken. 182-Members party will get the same time as one-Member party or two-Member party gets! What is this, Sir?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please allow Shri Kanungo to speak.

SHRI TRILOCHAN KANUNGO (JAGATSINGHPUR): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I had thought that perhaps I would be the last speaker. But I am not the last speaker, and my words are also not the last words.

Sir, I have been keeping in high esteem, hon. Shri Jaipal Reddy, even when I was not here in this House. My respect for him has also not gone down. I have heard him here and outside also with rapt attention. I have also heard different voices. I thought to express myself to give my free voice, to give my opinion of conscience because I do not want to put on a different face.

Sir, the electronic media of today and that of five to ten years before are altogether different. They have gone a sea change. During 1974-75, when T.V. was not known all over the country, the radio was only the known, the All India Radio was known as `All Indira Radio'. At that time, I was a Member of the Orissa Legislative Assembly from the Congress party. During that time, even people in rural places were telling that `it is All Indira Radio', what happened after the 1977 Elections? Everybody knows. My point is very simple. There was monopoly of the electronic media, and therefore, everybody was telling that it should be given autonomy.

Sir, I put before this august House. I appeal to the conscience of the hon. Jaipal Reddy. Is he really interested in the credibility of Doordarshan and electronic media? Is he really interested to have perfect accountability of the electronic media, the Prasar Bharati Board or Doordarshan, whatever the case may be? If he wants it, then my humble submission is that, when free channels and private channels are available, why don't we leave it under the control of the Government totally? This way, the credibility part, the accountability part will get scrutinised because they would be under scrutiny every moment, not only by this House alone but also by hundred of crores of people of our country.

Therefore, my point is that in the changing scenario, when there are so many free channels, let it be compared accountability-wise, quality-wise and character-wise. Thereby, the character, credibility and accountability of the Government will be subject to scrutiny every moment not only here but also outside.

I want to express my opinion that it should be left in the hands of the Government so that the Government's character, quality, calibre, credibility and accountability would be subject to scrutiny at every moment not only by this House, but by the whole of India, instead of granting full autonomy to audio-visual media, i.e A.I.R. and Doordarshan.

MR. CHAIRMAN : Now Shri Kharabela Swain will speak.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : Are you giving me two minutes? In that case, I do not want to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Prof. Rasa Singh Rawat will now speak.

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` +ɽ ɮi i Vi nxɨ,

ɽ Ei Ei , i SS xɽ i*'

<ʱB xxҪ V] ɽ E ֤ɮEn nx SɽM E

`E-E Mc Sɱ, E Sɱ E{i

E Uc ix Sɱ, ɪɮ ʺƽ {i*'

<ʱB +{ ɮ Bx.b.B. E ɴx E +xֺɮ, Vɺ ʦɨx E l, EE ɪii Sɽi Ex ɪiii E xɨ {ɮ SUni xɽ x SʽB* +]x E l-l BE=]ʤʱ] x SʽB* ɨZi E +{ ɮ <x ʴSɮ E +ɶ qxVɮ JM*

+Eɶɴh B nڮn E]M Bb xVɨ] ʺɺ] E nx E ɨɱ * |xʱV E x E ɨɱ * +{Obx + ]ExV E ɨɱ * <E l Eʱ] + |Oɨ + ʴɶɺxҪi xx E ɽi +ɴɶEi * ɨZi E <x ɮ i E vx Ji B Vx n Eiɪ E ]ɪ Mɪ + VxE xɨ {ɮ ilEli ɨ{lɪ x + Us vɨxɮ{Iiɴn x n <E] - Sɪ, ɽ SE xɮi EE BE |Eɮ =xE ƽ {ɮ Eɮ S{i ɮ E ɺiɴ Mɱi {ɮ l + =x +nʨɪ E ]x ɽ l* n ɨ{l J Vɪ i ɤ `E + E< + ʴSɮE J Vɪ i MɴEh , EɮEh , ɨZi E < |Eɮ E |ɴii E Sx SʽB* V] ɽ + Bx.b.B. E ɮEɮ |lx EM E ɹ] ʽi E ɴ{ʮ ɨZE +Eɶɴh + nڮnx E ɪiiɶɺ xi B =E BE=]ʤʱ] E vx J Vɪ, Eʱ] E vx J Vɪ* < E l +xE Sxɱ E iֱx E +vɮ {ɮ ɴɺʪE nʹ] +M gx , = i E qxVɮ Ji B +{ +{x xɪ B En {ɮ xɮiɮ Sɱi *

En-En gɪ V,

Jֶ E Mi Mɪ V*

MR. CHAIRMAN : Now the hon. Minister will reply.

SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY : The hon. Minister can reply tomorrow because the House is not full.

MR. CHAIRMAN : The hon. Minister has to finish it today. That is the decision taken.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: I will go by the decision of the Chair.

19.00 hrs


Certainly, with regard to the functioning of the Prasar Bharati and the conceptualization of its future that we have, this House and its hon. Members would have a lot to say because Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan and All India Radio are still struggling to define their identity in an environment where there are a large number of private channels. Some Members did refer and I must compliment Shri Suresh Kurup for having referred to the concept in which Prasar Bharati could be developed. But I deeply regret to say that a discussion on Prasar Bharati need not have been confined primarily to two individuals or to the attitudes of individuals who head the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

I must confess that I have the deepest personal regard for Shri Jaipal Reddy, who initiated the discussion. He was also fair enough to say that during the last few weeks that I have been associated with the Department he had no instance to cite any intervention by me. However, he made two crucial points. One was with regard to the retirement of two members and the other was that he thought that I, holding the current charge of this Ministry, am a bit too slippery.

I, today, realized why he has been awarded the honour of the `Outstanding Parliamentarian'. He anticipated what could have been said about the manner in which things have taken place in the past. I may remind him through you, Sir, that both of us were together in opposing the Emergency, both of us used to speak in the same voice on the Bofors case. I remain where I am and he slipped into the Congress; and today it was not merely slippery but I could see the point of distinction between what Shri K.P. Singhdeo said, what Dr. Girija Vyas said and what, belonging to the same Party, Shri Jaipal Reddy had to say. They were making suggestions with regard to the functioning of the Prasar Bharati but Shri Jaipal Reddy still wanted to defend what happened in November, 1997.

I do not what to go into specific dates as to what happened when. The mindset was Janata Dal; the defence was of the then members clearly identified with political ideologies coming into the Board; and then, the argument being made now, `My Government was on its last leg.' I do not want to quibble on the dates. The Jain Commission Report had been submitted to the Government. As a Minister of the Cabinet, the Government was aware of what the Jain Commission had said. The Congress Party was making the United Front Government shaky. There was a race whether the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting appoints the Board first or whether Shri Sitaram Kesari succeeds in withdrawing the support first. ... (Interruptions) The Ministry facilitates the appointment of the Board.

My friend, Shri Rudy gave some dates. I do not want to get into those dates once again. But every statement with regard to withdrawal of support from the then Government by Shri Kesari, his first warning and his second ultimatum were timed with the appointment of the Board and what Board did they appoint?

I must confess that I have personally nothing against the members including the members who have retired. They may be very eminent in their own fields. But when you speak of plurality, did you consider that there was any other political opinion in this country other than the political opinion with which those persons were identified? The Chairman was a person, ostensibly a very honourable man, who had very strong left leanings. The CEO was was very critical of the BJP; he was more critical of the Congress. He was close to the so-called `Third Front'.

The two members who have retired may be people of excellence in their own fields, but who can deny that they have leanings to a political ideology. I have always asked myself this question: If you speak of political plurality, it must be reflected in the programmes, in the current affairs programmes. Did it not ever strike you that people who could have inclinations to some other ideology should also come on the Board? Please do not have double standards on the issue of autonomy; there is no principle in Indian politics, that only the people with Left ideology will represent autonomy and everything else is destructive of autonomy. That is the principle of double standards which you have been moving with.