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HM criticises media coverage of Ramdev protest

New Delhi: Criticising the media, Home Minister P Chidambaram said there was “competitive populist” coverage of movements like that of Ramdev and warned that this undermines parliamentary democracy.

He also rejected the challenge by civil society activists to Finance Minister Pranab Mukhejee for a televised debate on the issue of corruption saying such an exercise only takes place in Parliament.

“I think sections of the media for reasons which I cannot spell out are engaged in competitive populist coverage of these movements. But they kindly keep in mind that this undermines parliamentary democracy,” Chidambaram told Doordarshan while referring to the intensive coverage by the TV channels of Ramdev`s agitation.

Referring to the civil society activists demand for televised debate, he said “when someone challenges Finance Minister to a debate in television, he misses the fact that debate takes place in parliament and parliamentary debates are televised and voters` watch parliamentary debates and exercise their franchise from time to time.”

He added “I think we can`t sacrifice the larger idea enshrined in our Constitution at the alter of short-term` 15 minutes of fame under the sun`.”

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