By Saurabh Sharma / News Laundry
Rajendra Gautam has filed an FIR in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, against fellow veteran journalist Hemant Tiwari under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, which punishes hate crimes and atrocities against Dalits and Adivasi communities.
Gautum, 44, is Dalit. Tiwari, 56, is Brahmin.
In the FIR, filed on August 3, Gautam accused Tiwari of making casteist remarks against him, his wife and son. Tiwari has denied the allegation.
“I have been tolerating Mr Tiwari since 2019. I couldn’t take it anymore when he started making remarks against my wife and son, so I went to the police and registered the complaint. It was difficult but it had to be done,” said Gautam, who runs two newspapers out of his apartment in Lucknow called Tijarat and Nishpaksh Divya Sandesh.
His colleagues have suggested complaining to the Press Council of India as well, Gautam said, and he was in the process of doing so.
Gautam alleged that Tiwari hurled casteist slurs at him after he declined to back him in the election to the Uttar Pradesh State Accredited Correspondents Committee. The election was held in March 2021 and Tiwari, who has previously worked with Dainik Jagran among other newspapers and now routinely appears as a TV talking head, was elected president.
“He made remarks like ‘Are Chamarue ab media me bhi aayenge kya aur hamain harvayenge?’” Gautam said of Tiwari. “Will the Chamars beat us in the media as well?” Chamar is a casteist slur used against the Dalits.
“It is not my fault that I was born Dalit,” Gautam added. “I do my journalism with utmost honesty and that is why I have become a problem for journalists like Hemant Tiwari. I came from a marginalised background and made it in this profession. I had respect for him but he crossed the line when he dragged my wife and son into this.”
This story was originally published in newslaundry.com . Read the full story here