The 56th convocation of IIT Madras which took place on September 30 was followed by a Hackathon which was not aired on the channel
An Assistant Director (Programme) at Doordarshan’s Podhigai Tamil television service was suspended on October 01 by the Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati and disciplinary proceedings initiated against her.
Vasumathi Rajan, the suspended employee, was directed to remain in the Chennai headquarters of Doordarshan and not to leave the headquarters without the prior permission of the CEO, in a confidential letter issued to her.
Sources at Prasar Bharti who did not wish to be named told The Lede that the reason behind Rajan’s suspension was “wilful insubordination”.
“She had a question that she posed to her superior officer. Her superior clearly told her that the entire event needed to be telecast live. She was given clear instructions but she still chose to disobey them and not air the whole event live,” he said.
The 56th convocation of IIT Madras was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam among other dignitaries.
The convocation was followed by a Hackathon in which Modi interacted with students of the institution.
While the convocation was aired live on DD Podhigai, the Hackathon was not. This appears to have been the cause for initiation of disciplinary proceedings against Rajan.
The Lede attempted to reach Rajan and her colleagues at DD Podhigai multiple times but in vain. This article will be updated if and when Rajan chooses to comment.
In the meanwhile, a number of claims did the rounds of social media. One Twitter user Madhav tweeted claiming that he had spoken to Rajan and that her explanation for why the Hackathon was not aired live was that the model code of conduct was in effect in the state.
“I Just spoke to Dr.Vasumathi Rajan Head Programing Podhigai. She told me they covered convocation live , but couldn't cover Hackathon live because of the moral code of conduct in force due to be bye elections in Vikravandi.
when i asked her , how come Pvt channels telecasted ? for that she said Moral code of conduct is applicable only to Govt run channels and not to Private Channels. This is ridiculous. @rsprasad @PMOIndia @narendramodi @DDPodhigaiTV
Moral code of conduct should be applicable to all or to none, cant be selective” (sic)
The Lede was unable to verify whether Madhav had actually spoken to Rajan and whether his claims were true.
The source at Prasar Bharti, when queried about this tweet, said – “We have issued a suspension order now. There will be a process that will take place. When the inquiry begins, she will have a chance to explain her version. As of now, I do not want to comment on why she did what she did.”
Even if Madhav’s claims are true, the model code of conduct does not prohibit Doordarshan from airing such events.
DD National as well as private television news channels across languages had aired the Hackathon live.
Unconfirmed allegations on social media claim that Rajan did not air the Hackathon event as a show of protest against the Prime Minister.