Prasar Bharati it appears turned into a dumping ground of all those who could not be rehabilitated anywhere else. It was bureaucrats earlier who managed a cool posting here and went home smiling after twisting every thread in system. One would have appreciated the Government in bringing it out of clutches of uncontrollable Babus but with News trickling of a party-worker getting replaced as the CEO- Prasar Bharati betrays the spirit of Autonomy as assured to the Parliament.
Shashi Vempaty was someone involved in the 272+ campaign for Narendra Modi is what it made him a part-time Member of the Prasar Bharati Board first. No one has seen him contributing an iota till date and the nosedive Prasar Bharati Board witnessed since its new look takes away all smiles and hopes. One learns that his taking over as the new CEO has the stamp of Keshav Kunj that seals every other notion. Nevertheless it puts the IAS in a humiliating quandary that thought Prasar Bharati another of their fiefdoms find their egos pushed in corner.
More than this the news travelling confirms the insipience of Chairman of the Board, a person trusted with all authority failing to create sort of public broadcaster the Government desired is strong reason for Vempaty’s induction. Perhaps one of the most dismal performances, the present Chairman with his limited understanding of medium even as a journalist was found wanted on many issues. He is as clueless as was the previous CEO and the one hanging boots in few days’ time. The way he sunk DD Kisan and drained public funds calls for serious investigations. Questions are already raised on his abilities for entrusting a new Channel for the North East. The entire Board and Chairman in lead are responsible for experimenting with public money that is criminal and serious. One cannot fritter national money in the garb of an equally inconsistent, incompetent Board that has no background of television.
This surely hurt the professionals who always perceived that the energetic Prime Minister would rise above petty party and personal preferences to galvanize the organization with some seasoned media mind. The present Chairman had all support of the Government but his dissipated performance benumbs all arguments. Media thinkers wonder what does a Part-Time Chairman do attending office on regular basis and contributing nothing – The Prasar Bharati Act 1990 does not envisage such a role of any of the Board Members leave aside remuneration that he is extracting. This is illegal and causing loss to exchequer. Furthermore both the outgoing CEO and the Chairman have conducted official tours on frivolous grounds wasting lakhs and on the other hand refusing to pay annual honorarium to Staff who performs in such directionless circumstances citing financial crunch. It was foolhardy of the Board to carry entire Management to Hyderabad recently for dance recital by ABU despite this crunch. He even shifted venue for Board Meeting to justify this huge expenditure that could have rejuvenated workers with much needed ‘honorarium’! One hears of many RTIs getting prepared for all this and fresh legal battles against them to refund all such money on these bootless tours.