Friday, December 07, 2007

Arun Prakash Protests Award for Outlook

Some of us defence correspondents received a very aggrieved e-mail from former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash a few days ago. Few would be unfamiliar with the expansive and sustained investigative campaign in Outlook over 2005-06 on the Naval war room leak and its alleged links to the Scorpene submarine deal. Admiral Prakash, then the chief in office was at the core of the Outlook series. The e-mail I received had attached Admiral Prakash's letter registering his protest to the International Press Institute against the recent IPI Award for journalism excellence awarded to Outlook for the investigative series. With permission from the Admiral, I reproduce that e-mail here for LiveFist readers:

The letter is addressed to MK Razdan, Editor-in-Chief of the Press Trust of India (PTI) and member of the jury that selected the award. The letter reads is produced verbatim below:

Dear Shri Razdan,

1. I am writing to you in your capacity as a member of the Jury which awarded the IPI Award for journalism to the Outlook magazine last week.

2. Whatever merits the jury may have seen in the kind of journalism practised by this magazine, it has either erred grievously, or been misled into ignoring the scurrilous campaign of vilification that it mounted against me when I was Chief of Naval Staff. There is no doubt in my mind that the magazine used half-truths, as well as concocted and fabricated material in its so-called "investigation". The main purpose of this unprecedented campaign was to mount a vicious personal attack on me; and one can only wonder at the motivationand interests that prompted this unprovoked assault.

3. I enclose a self-explanatory letter which I had addressed to the Editor of Outlook in January 2007, in a feeble attempt to fend off the sustained campaign of character assassination that he had mounted against me for over a year, and revived after my retirement. I was not surprised when the letter remained unpublished because it conformed to the magazine's established policy of resolutely denying a helpless individual's right to defend himself, while using the immense power of the media to destroy his good name, reputation and peace of mind with impunity. The magazine has been questioned repeatedly by courts, but has failed to substantiate any of the wild allegations that it has passed off as "investigative journalism" , and which appear to have now won it "fame".

4. I also enclose a copy of the complaint that I filed, in this context, with the Press Council of India, earlier this year. May I request that even at this late stage, the award jury may kindly read the text of the complaint, and reflect whether their decision to reward journalism of this nature will enhance or erode the credibility of the IPI. I have not been able to obtain the addresses of Justice AS Anand and other members of the jury, but would be happy to provide this material on-line for circulation to them.

Yours sincerely,

Arun Prakash

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good job Shiv,

I stand by Admiral Prakash

Teews said...

Hats off to you Shiv.

Atleast you have taken the effort to bring this to our attention.

And yes, we are with Admiral Prakash.

Anonymous said...

We are with the Admiral

no one said...

hi every one out there. I wonder why 'some' journalists are siding wih this admiral arun prakash whose misdeeds are already explined by the CBI, the rest will follow. Dont you think journalists should stick to news rather than siding with one or the other. Boss shiv aroor, dont you think this is termed as racketering. As far as the great admiral, why des he not file a signle defamation case in his individual capacity. The CBI is also finding that how his nephew has managed to stay abroad for so long. wait till some more dead bodies fall from cupborad. Hold your gusto for sometime

Anonymous said...

we all know IPI kaipeeeye or whateer organ,issues awards based on all sort of lobbying. And these awards are used for various purposes inc luding CV fattening.
If the admiral is guilty he will be punished by law.
It is just and necessary that the principle of audi alterum partum be followed especially by a panel in whic justice anand was a member.
They owe a reply at least.
Regarding fighting, does my friend know how long and arduous a court fight is? simple to suggest!! while one fights the perpetrator goes on with his nefarious activities or enjoys the fruit of his misdeeds.

Anonymous said...

Admiral Sahib Zindabad, Outlook magazine murdabad

Anonymous said...

Are we going to become the kind of nation that favors mudslingers over those who have served the nation for over 30 years with a career in the armed forces? CNS Arun Praksah is innocent until proven guilty, and Outlook magazine has not proven his guilt, only raised unsubstantiated accusations against him. No progress will be possible if we let accusers bring down those who are doing good work for the nation.

Shiv Aroor said...

no one @ 1.19pm: there's no gusto in what i've put up here. i don't what's true and what's not. i simply have put up admiral prakash's letter since i was a recipient of a copy of it. so my posting it here is not a sign of my leanings (whatever they may be) one way or the other. so before jumping to call anything "racketeering", take a step back, and while you're at it, a breath too!

candle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
no one said...

hi shiv, my comment was not in anyways a personal attack to you. Sorry, if you have felt hurt either ways. I have followed the case very closely so somehow felt jolted by the guts of admn prakash to post this letter. This message is meant for all those whose brains are sub-servant to anyone. I have tried to approach man in white so many times, may be he reads the questions on this blog itself and answers -- not to me but to his conscience and the indians.
Why did he not put a check on his nephew?
how come his officil phone as CNS was used by his nephew to call people in paris and others accused in Navy war room
why were three Naval officers dismissed from service without any explaination?
Why is Navy now on a backfoot in Delhi High Court?
why did Deputy CNS come and beg the CBI to implicate those dismissed article 311?
Come one these are only tip of iceberg. Let Adm prakash answer this, many more are to follow?
Courts take long and i can only hope that the case sees the light of the day?
Dear shiv, these questions have nothing to do with you but may be treated as an open forum for admn prakash to answer

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he will answer an anonymous nobody slinging mud on his name on the internet.
Where do you get off mate

no one said...

buddy, only if he (admn prakash) had answers, he would have replied. chill boss, i know sooner or later thr truth will tumble out of the cupboard and possibly it will hurt your feelings only, if you are his fan. till then take a chill pill and do visit Delhi High court on dec 18 when navy counsel will be ripped apart for their ficitious charges against naval officers in 2005. do visit

algorhytm said...

too many people have already made up their minds about this friggin' case. nothing has been proved yet. the admiral's silence during the so called investigation is as peculiar as the fact that outlook's investigation has had no real impact on public interest. the war room leak was a criminal case long before outlook began its series, so the IPI award is little mistaken in its citation either way by suggesting that outlook's impact was a criminal investigation. outlook, in effect, effected nothing, apart from a few high court cases against it, far lower credibility within the reading community and still no answers about forged papers and documents! if outlook wants answers from admiral arun, then it should be equally willing to come clean on its character assassination campaign. many of us on the forums believe so, and are glad this has come up for debate even though the issue has receded from public memory.

Anonymous said...

As a old navy man and old "buddy" of the villian of this story Shankaran, let me add my contribution to this shameful story and give inside gen from my side.
There are much bigger people much bigger than Arun Prakash involved in this game which Outlook and its masters have played.He cannot explain.
FIRST. Shankaran was allowed to get away and will NOT be caught by CBI because he worked for the Atomic Energy people. When I asked him to explain his high life style a few years ago he told me that he was helping in "Sanction Bursting" for DAE and they had helped to get him an office next to India Gate in Mumbai.So he is now safe in Europe & will stay there.
SECOND. He was a kind chap & wanted to help his pals who were not as lucky as him. So he used his old navy contacts in NHQ and also his wifes uncle's name (CNS) to obtain info about contracts that could help earn some money for his old friends. He was always boasting about his Uncle could get postings and promotions. Some IAF chap leaked to IB and then navy woke up.
THIRD. Ambitious FOC West in Mumbai with his eyes on Chiefs gaddi heard about Shankaran's activities and sent his naval police to raid his office. God knows what he found, but he realized that he could get rid of Prakash. So he goes to Nanda, HDW and Outlook and they create a big nonsense together.
LAST. Outlook gets award from Europe Manjit Singh gets prize from Nanda. Ex-CNS should have kept his eyes & ears open. No use crying on your blog now.