Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Daya Nayak and Un-investigative Journalism

No news may not be good news, but irresponsible news is far far worse.

Today, all of Mumbai is talking about Daya Nayak. The credit, of course, goes to our overly creative media. When there is no news, let us manufacture news. Let us talk about a flat in Switzerland, a fleet of luxury buses, an absconding cop, a non-bailable warrant and a manhunt alongwith the Karnataka police. Let us talk fiction.

The first to break the Daya Nayak story was the Mumbai Mirror. This was very interesting, because so far the Mirror has confined itself to front page news about a woman’s hair getting burnt when she went for straightening it and how the vamp in the new Kxxx serial hates the actress who plays the mother in the older Kxxx serials [for the uninitiated, these are the Ekta Kapoor serials on primetime t.v.] And suddenly, here we had a tabloid trying to carry off investigative journalism about a very serious story. But unverified "sources" do not news make. To anyone who gave a thought to the 4 crore net worth story, it stank of a smear job. Which led me to wonder, how much money was paid and by whom, to carry that story?

It did not stop here. The next day, a lot of people wrote in to the Mirror and got published [because public sentiment must be honored] about how Daya Nayak is an evil criminal and how he should be punished severely to deter other corrupt people. The Mirror carried the next installment of their smear campaign alongwith the readers’ opinions. Really, you expect a 17 year old to understand what the MCOCA is? You print a businessman’s opinion on how corruption and bribery should be punished? Yeah sure... Then the ACB raided Nayak, and the Mirror patted itself on the back about how it was responsible for opening the eyes of the ACB. But suddenly, the net worth of Mr. Daya Nayak had gone down from the 4 crores that it earlier was to 41 lacs, out of which 36 lacs was in his wife’s name. Sure she’s a housewife, so she can’t possibly make any money, right? But what if she brought in a dowry and bought two companies with it and made them grow? What if she’s intelligent and capable of handling finances? Oh, but she’s a woman! She can’t possibly do all that! And all though one of those companies stopped working, about 3 years ago, it still kept making money for these criminal masterminds!

The parent Times of India had been silent so far, other than a tiny piece about ongoing enquiries in the Ketan Tirodkar vs Daya Nayak case. After the ACB raids, its head honchos thought, the Mirror’s been doing front page after front page on Daya Nayak, and everyone’s talking...we shouldn’t be missing out! And because they had nothing substantial to report, because nothing substantial had been found – they made up the Swiss flat + Dubai hotel story. It was the most shameful kind of journalistic hooliganism, even more so because it was the Times! Of course, it could have just been another journalist on the ToI who like on the Mirror sold out to Tirodkar or Shakeel, same difference...

The other newspapers were just as bad. The Midday’s reliable "sources" [God, how I hate this word!] divulged Nayak’s total wealth as over 100 crores. The Hindustan Times was largely non-commital but wasted a lot of newsprint on the "absconding" cop. The Indian Express talked about the now old matters of the luxury buses and the 3 flats in Mumbai. Only DNA [that’s Daily Analysis and News, the newest kid on the block] was surprisingly reserved in its comments and mostly stuck to facts, rather than imaginary sources.

Nobody, absolutely nobody bothered to remember the number of times that Nayak put his life on the line, for the system. Nobody talked about the Lashkar E Toiba militants that he gunned down; who would have certainly wreaked havoc in Mumbai had it not been for this man. [See The Real Nayak] No journalist had the guts to suggest that this could be a conspiracy to screw over Daya Nayak’s life. No journalist wrote about just how many people and what kind of people want Daya Nayak dead, destroyed or at least, in jail. No journalist bothered to bring out Ketan Tirodkar’s criminal antecedents before quoting him in their articles. They keep referring to him as a former journalist, as if that magic word absolves him of all guilt, when in fact, he only worked with a small time afternoon daily for less than a year. NDTV [formerly our best news channel, but changed preference from news to sensationalism in the last 6 months] carried interviews with Tirodkar and aired them repeatedly, without editing the rubbish that he spoke. If you can edit Rahul Gandhi’s speeches, can’t you edit a criminal’s? Instead of condemning the known criminal, you glorify his sleaze, put him on the front page and let him drag an innocent [until proven guilty, sure] man through slime down to his own low levels?

The media - and we who follow and believe unquestioningly its various channels – do not realize that a man’s life has been completely ruined by this uncalled for spotlight. From now onwards, Daya Nayak has ceased to be the man who shot down 84 hardcore gangsters and saved hundreds of lives, instead he will forever be remembered by the collective conscious as the cop who ran and hid, when in fact he has done nothing of the sort.

Certain others in this case that the media has reported about - without verifying facts or background checks:

 Raju Padte, close college friend of Nayak. Accused of having illegal cash dealings with Nayak and staying in Nayak’s Andheri flat. Detained by ACB for a day for questioning. The truth: Padte runs a cable network. Owns a fast food stall outside Andheri station. Has bought the flat in Silver Mists, Andheri himself through bank loans and has paid it off gradually. No illegal financial dealings.

 P. Manivellan, friend of Nayak from Coimbatore. Accused of illegal cash dealings and association of his company Deve Paints by lieu of Nayak’s wife being on board of directors of Deve Paints. Currently in police custody by ACB for "questioning" [read harassment]. Tirodkar’s allegation – Manivellan is a front for Daya Nayak for money laundering, and was a poor nobody before coming in contact with Nayak. The Truth: Deve Paints, formerly Garware Paints has been in Manivellan’s family since 15 years. P. Manivellan is a well-off interior designer by profession originally from Coimbatore and in Mumbai since 2001. Has been trying to salvage the company Deve Paints that was earlier managed by his brother and pay off its dues to workers and creditors after it declared bankruptcy 6 years ago. Had leased a flat in Hiranandani, Powai in the duration of his stay which was searched and sealed by ACB prior to his being taken into police custody. Nothing was found. He’s just a man caught in the crossfire.

In a time where fiction can be easily made to seem like fact; and facts can be concealed or forgotten, it becomes increasingly important for the media to remain responsible for what they showcase. Our media, both print and electronic have forgotten the importance of establishing the truth despite any excuses for manipulation; which is the basic tenet of journalism.

Even if a certain section of the media has sold itself to malevolent forces that seek to destroy Daya Nayak, and though it is a shame that an old and esteemed newspaper like ToI has dishonored its reputation by stooping to yellow sensationalist journalism; I continue to hope that the rest of the media will turn away from the unethical and irresponsible attitude seen today and will at least, attempt to establish a cleaner version of the truth in an unbiased manner.

9 comments:

Shinu Mathew said...

I beg to defer with your views. Daya Nayak is not a criminal until he is proven to be one, but that doesn't mean he is out of the purview of our Justice system. Agreed, Ketan Tirodkar is a criminal himself, but criminals know more about other criminals than we do about them. That's why ex-convicts are used as informers.
And the increase of his wealth rose to 100 crore from the initial figure because once he is exposed, the real investigation starts. And how about the 1 crore donation to a mangalore school? Do you think out of his 4 crore he donated 1 crore?
The 84 people that he killed, how many are real gangsters? Many of them may be small-time couriers in the big network. If brought to justice, they may not attract more than 6 months sentence. Why all these so-called encounter specialists never even get injured in the crossfire? It shows that they were unarmed and caught unaware.
I would like to suggest something though. Your blog is totally dedicated to this item only? if no, then change the title to a more wider aspect so you can keep blogging about other stuff too. I would like to say it was an interesting reading. Keep up the good work.

Punkprincess said...

Encounter specialists do get hurt in encounters. Daya Nayak came within inches of losing his life on two separate occasions, once with a bullet from Salim Kalya that lodged near his spine putting him out of circulation for almost 2 months. Also see The Real Nayak.

As for the gangsters being caught unawares, you've been watching too many movies, Chandni Bar being a case in point. They are rarely unarmed and never unaware. I suppose its okay when the gangsters kill innocent people when they are "unarmed and unawares"?

Also, he did not donate 1 crore to the school. He donated Rs.10,001 which is a paltry amount when you consider the amount required to actually construct the school which primarily came through donations from the people of the village themselves, the Karnataka film industry, all of whom adore their Dayanna. Some donations also came from Bollywood. This was established by a high level probe, which the then CP M.N. Singh fully accepted. It is another story that he has now turned tail and said he was not satisfied with probe.

Next post - The Ketan Tirodkar nexus.

Sandeep said...

Punkprincess,

How appopriate a name for someone "defending" Daya Nayak. Daya Nayak is a publicity-seeking newshound who cavorts with the Bollywood and Page 3 crowd. Its a travesty of justice that someone becomes a hero based on the number of extra-judicial killings he claims to have done.

Please give us names Punkprincess of the really big shots he has brought to book. None. As pointed out, he kills small-time criminals. For all we know, he might be a paid assasin himself---now I wonder how a housewife makes 36 lacs. I wonder. Now dont show me the mock indignation of "cant a woman make money?"

Yeah duh. She can. But not sitting at home. I would have said the same thing if Daya Nayak was a woman and her house-husband had 36 lacs in his name.

Daya Nayak is a blot on the police force and to those countless officers who are honest, nameless and put their lives on the line everyday.

I see you have enabled comment moderation which just goes to show how tolerant you are of opinions that are not in line with you. Hoorah democracy.

Punkprincess said...

Here's the list of "big" names that you wanted. IF you don't know who these men were nd what their crimes were, may i suggest a little research at least through Google, before you care to respond.

Vinod Matkar, Sadiq Kalya, Simon Manual, Rafiq Dabbawala, Munna Nepali, Tony Rozario, Salim Mulla, Pappu Thakur of various gangs like Dawood lbrahim, Chhota Rajan, Chhota Shakeel, Abu Salem, Ashwin Naik, Ali Budesh, Suresh Manchekar etc.
3 terrorists of the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Devaraj Suarna and Rajesh Shetty of the Chota Rajan Gang.
Of course there are more. May i also say again that he was a man doing his job, when he shot these men. Some, may have been the fake encounters that we all kow from the movies today; but again these were state sanctioned. Nayak wouldn't have seen death's door, and he did, if all his encounters were fake. I'm not "defending" Daya Nayak's deeds. I'm merely putting forward the other side of the story, the ne which the media pig-headedly refuses to show.

Dhawal "Maverick" Shah said...

Chill, folks, lets leave justice to the Indian Judiciary. If appropriate justice is not delivered, he eventually would have to resign to the Law of Karma.

Anonymous said...

Hi
Enjoyed reading your piece. Being a journalist myself and a contemporary (we always wondered where he managed to get all the stories from when he was at the Afternoon) it is intriguing to read the other side as you term it. I only wonder, why Daya hasnt come out himself and said all these things. He was pretty media savvy otherwise. Also if he was smart enough to engage the services of shrewd legal eagles like Shyam Marwadi, Shirish Gupte and Fali Nariman, he could have invested in a PR agency. All the bad press he's been getting these days could have been taken care of by the spin doctors who manage to kill stories put out by even veteran journos. Or they could have painted him as a martyr, a nemisis of evil, etc. Where did Daya go wrong. He has managed to stay out of jail till today (19th Feb) and that is an achievement in itself. I think he is not going behind bars for another week at least if my hunch is right.

Also how come only one encounter specialist got targetted and hit so badly. I personally know at least a dozen PIs who have made a fortune (that could put Daya's alleged wealth to shame). How come they didn't get targetted by the underworld. Why was only Daya put in the firing line.

There is a theory that Daya fell foul with a senior politician from Maharashtra who has vowed revenge. Do you know anything on this.....

Why dont you keep us posted... it makes interesting reading and gives us "a different view"

sanjeev said...

kudo's to u maam... i wish the post written by u is published in a newspaper so as to highlight the real facts about officers like Mr. daya naik. The truth is that pessimists of this nation who sadly to say are more in number than optimists always do not see such officers and their deeds in a practical manner. reading your posts bears testimony to the fact that there is still light at the end of tunnel in case of the youth of our country who are known to enjoy rather than discuss such serious topics. but i, as a proponent of optimism only hope that this light is not that of an incoming train. wishing u all the best in ur later posts and hoping to read some more smashing posts from u...ur instant admirer ..sanjeev

Anonymous said...

Does the arrest of Daya prove that all the other police are clean, can the courts say that all the IPS officers are very honest and only Daya was corrupt?. All the encounter cops to every one in this present system could be highly corrupt. The government have developed this system like this, that no one dare question the politicos in power. All the people in power, let it be the cops, politicians & judiciary is comfortable in this rut. Daya is made a scapegoat due to his popularity, its pure zelousy. This very cops, politicians & judiciary , including the common man knows that a effective cop, to develop informers will have friendly conversations with gangsters via mobile or landline etc, thats how information is ferreted out. No informer advertises in newspapers any tipoff. This informers have to be paid large sums to get important tip offs, this tip off money have to be generated somehow, please remember Daya's job was to put a stop to the killing feilds that was Mumbai in the ninties. His name was teror to all, ask any prominent bussinessman, if they recieved a extortion call, and if that bussinessman replied that Daya was a friend, then the calls would stop. The politicians want to revive the underworld, their fund supply have all dried up. Is it not clear that when it has come in the papers that two main politicians who have defected from……… party is having crores worth of property, yet this over zelous courts, out to clean this city, does not notice such newspaper reports. Why is the courts not passing any judjment on how this politicians have ammased crores worth assets in a short span of 10-15 years? Does this government want to convey a message to public that ammasing a few lakhs is not allowed, but a few hundred crores is ok. All this reeks of a greater conspiracy. Science has medicine for everything but zelousy. And this is zelousy plus conspiracy put together. Why can't he be put in house arrest, why is it necessary he has to be put in a prison full of third rate gangsters. Why is he being interrogated in camera, it should be transperent. And most important screen all the cops in the force and give them a clean chit then target him, they won't do that. The courts should also screen all the politicians, even that they wont do. Such is the state of this nation now. Major scams have surfaced but no results, what happened to Bofors, coal, fodder, helicopter, purchases, major road tender. petrol pump etc etc etc scams, why no conviction, this cases are only dragging, but Daya have to be arrested for the better of all living beings on this planet. Underworld is rejoicing, extortion will be active again, the killings will start again. This same level of effort and over zelousness is not shown to track the gangsters abroad, from Malaysia, Hong Kong,South Africa,Dubai,Pakistan,UK,US etc. We have a strong intelligense like IB & RAW etc, why not use them to track this organised gangsters, or are they inefficient or is it that our politicians don't want it, lest their involments come out? Ketan Tirodkar is a criminal, who have support of zelous vested interests in the police force. So is it ok for any criminal to suddenly change over a new leaf and target a cop ?? "When government fears public, that is liberty. When public fear government, that is tyranny."

Anonymous said...

This are all could be concoted stories, if this were true, what took Tirodkar so long to report this matter the first time it happened. If this were true, then definately Tirodkar got his cut. If this are true, then what gurrantee is there that Tirodkar was/is not doing this for his present godfathers, Simple logic, if he was/is not doing so, then they would not have given him such a special treatment. Here a criminal who is a journalist by profession, indulges in gangster activities and is protected by the very cops, who should have put hin in jail. What truth is there in such a persons allegations, or is he telling the complete truth, how much money he has made by independently brokering deals between the underworld, builders, bussinessmen,politicians & other police mens. All this is a difficult to belive. The general public is being taken for a ride. Daya is the scapegoat. If they were serious about cleansing the system then what happened to the past cases of top IPS officers, who were caught with cash and other cases. This is a game plan to revive the underworld.