Prominent right-wing journalist Surya Prakash is all set to become the new boss of Prasar Bharati. According to media reports, Surya Prakash, who is currently a fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) has been sounded out for heading Prasar Bharati. The post of chairperson has been lying vacant for sometime after Mrinal Pandey’s tenure ended in May this year.
According to media reports, Surya Prakash’s name was selected from a shortlist of journalists which included names like Swapan Dasgupta and Kanchan Gupta. Prasar Bharati is responsible for the functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio and is an autonomous body, but its neutrality has always come under shadow. The chairman of Prasar Bharati has been mostly a political appointment, and this time seems no exception.
The Vivekananda International Foundation is a think tank which enjoys the indirect support of RSS. Many fellows from VIF have close ties with the government, particularly former director Ajit Doval who is currently the National Security Advisor. Surya Prakash’s website mentions him having worked for several top media houses like Zee News, Indian Express, The Pioneer etc. But what stands out is his strong views about the Gandhi family.
According to his website, “In 1998, he raised the issue of Ms.Sonia Gandhi’s citizenship in a series of articles in The Pioneer and argued that the conditionalities attached to the citizenship of naturalized citizens like her under the Indian Citizenship Act made her unfit for the office of Prime Minister. These articles resulted in an intense national debate on Ms.Gandhi’s citizenship and her right to hold public office during national elections held in 1998, 1999 and 2004. These arguments regarding the constitutional, legal and political issues surrounding the political rights of naturalized citizens in India eventually culminated in the publication of Sonia Under Scrutiny – Issue of Foreign Origin, edited by Surya Prakash in 2004.”
Some of his recent articles listed in the website are, Verdict 2014: Sonia-Manmohan punished for decade-long contempt for Hindu majority, The Graceless Nehru-Gandhis: Devoid of Democratic Etiquette, and Congress Manifesto – A Party of the Family, by the Family and for the Family.
Surya Prakash is also a director of the India Foundation which publicised the Gujarat model of development in the run up to the polls. A formal declaration announcing the name of Surya Prakash is expected to be done soon.