DD official defies order on PM’s event, suspended
New Delhi/Chennai: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has placed under suspension a Doordarshan employee in Chennai after she failed to “follow instructions” and telecast live Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during his visit to the city on September 30.
R Vasumathi, assistant director (programming) at DD Podhigai, was served a suspension order by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati on October 1. While the order did not list out the reason for disciplinary proceedings against her, Prasar Bharati sources said the action was initiated after Vasumathi “independently” and unilaterally decided against telecasting portions of Modi’s events in contravention to instructions.
“DD News was telecasting the programme live. So there was no reason for DD Podhigai to not follow suit. Even though she was asked to beam the proceedings live, she decided not to, which is tantamount to insubordination,” a top official told TOI.
Modi was in Chennai to attend two programmes: the 56th annual convocation of IIT Madras and Singapore-India Hackathon 2019 at IIT Madras’s research centre. DD Podhigai broadcast live proceedings of the IIT-Madras convocation, but not his speech at the hackathon, the first of the day’s events.
Sources in Prasar Bharati, Chennai, said Vasumathi was directed to broadcast live both events at IIT-Madras. “However, she took a view to live telecast only the convocation in the light of the model code of conduct, which is in place for bypolls to the Vikravandi and Nanguneri assembly segments in Villupuram and Tirunelveli districts, respectively,” an official privy to the developments said.
Prasar Bharati officials said Vasumathi will now face proceedings in line with the Central Civil Services Rules and she will be asked to present her views once an inquiry is initiated. Her suspension orders also said she will be required to seek permission from Prasar Bharati before leaving Chennai, where she is posted.