A Republic TV journalist, Shantasree Sarkar, took to Twitter on September 8th to announce her resignation from the news channel, citing “ethical reasons”. Despite currently serving her notice period at Republic TV, Shanatasree opened up about her inability to align herself with the “aggressive agenda being run by Republic TV to vilify Rhea Chakraborty”.
“I was taught journalism to unearth truth. In Sushant’s case, I was asked to take out details of everything but not truth. As I investigated, sources close to both families agreed Sushant was suffering from depression. Of course, it didn’t suit Republic agenda,” she continued, in the now controversial Twitter thread.
Her Twitter Thread Describes Her Toxic Work Environment And Why She Decided To Finally Take A Stand
She says that she personally worked on angles for the case, which weren’t released because, she claims, they didn’t further the channel’s agenda.
She then recounts how she watched her colleagues harass people who visited Rhea’s apartment, right from delivery boys to the police. They believed that “shouting & pulling a woman’s cloth will make them relevant in the channel!” she writes.
Amidst dealing with the “trauma” of “how a woman is shamed publicly”, Shanatasree says that she was punished at work for her resistance by being made to work round the clock.
She ended the Twitter thread by claiming that she can proudly assert that she never put out a biased story. “When time came for me to sell my morals to vilify a woman, I took a stand finally,” she writes.
‘Too Little, Too Late’ –Shantasree’s Resignation Has Been Met With Criticism From Everyone
Shantasree’s tweets have been met with some praise…
… but mostly a flood of hate and anger that has become an inevitable, almost living thing, during this case.
A parody account of Arnab Goswami has replied to the Twitter thread as well, saying, “When you leave today, you are not really looking cool. You have chosen a path of Paid PR. If people like Akshay Kumar are postponing the film, Imagine their PR is not working. People will forget you in few months and professionally your credibility is gone.”
However, the “disappointment” this time is not just from those who stand with the news channel, but also from those otherwise against it.
Several people are criticising Shantasree for choosing to draw the line now, after having remained silent and passive in the past. “No sympathy for anyone who perpetuated hate and now acting righteous,” one user wrote.
“How has it been any different than how they operate otherwise? And where is her apology for spreading hate and bigotry all the years she stuck around? Until it affects you maybe you won’t be jerked out of your saffron-hued reverie, but it’ll be too late, just like it is today,” says an Instagram account called PoliticalIndians.
The criticism reflects people’s refusal to let injustices slide.
However, the fact remains that everyone has the right to take a call on when they’ve had enough. It’s valid to be disappointed at how much was tolerated in silence by them before they got there, but it’s not a good enough reason to entirely dismiss their present narrative and eventual courage.
One of Shantasree’s ex-colleagues, Shweta Kothari, wrote on Twitter, “When Republic was launched in 2017, we were all told that the venture will be different… None of us privately condoned the journalism Republic did, but were too low in the hierarchy to effect a change… These reporters who are finally putting their foot down and bringing you the truth need your support and encouragement, not your judgment.”
Leaving a job is a privilege not many can afford. While Shantasree exercising that privilege this late may not inspire your sympathy, must it inspire a desire to shame her?
Journalism is here to stay, and so are, unfortunately, all kinds of social, political, and economic injustices. Where the journalist chooses to stay, then, may seem too little, but it’s not too late.
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