Bengaluru: Prasar Bharati has suspended a Chennai Doordarshan Kendra Assistant Director, R. Vasumathi, for allegedly blocking Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s speech at IIT Madras on 30 September.
The order, handed out Tuesday, states that “disciplinary proceedings” have been initiated against Vasumathi without explicitly conveying the reason for her suspension.
Vasumathi has been placed under suspension under the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965. The order has been signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prasar Bharathi Shashi Shekhar Vempati.
According to sources, the Doordarshan official did not put out a live feed of PM Modi’s speech at the Singapore-India Hackathon 2019 held at IIT Madras’ research centre on DD Podhigai despite being asked to do so.
A senior official, while confirming the suspension, told ThePrint that the reason behind Vasumathi’s suspension was “willful insubordination”.
“She (Vasumathi) had raised a doubt with one of her seniors whether both events of the PM at IIT-Madras needed to be aired live. Her superior clarified that since it is a government function and involved the prime minister the entire event at IIT-Madras had to be aired live,” a source said, on the condition of anonymity.
“Yet, the officer independently took a decision to carry only one part of the event live and not the other. That was the basic matter,” the source added.
ThePrint reached Vasumathi for a comment but there was no response.
‘Vasumathi not allowed to leave headquarters’
Amid a raging language debate earlier this month, sparked by Home Minister Amit Shah’s comment that Hindi should be made the country’s national language, Modi’s speech in Chennai was also an attempt to dispel fears of Hindi imposition in the southern state. The PM had addressed Tamil as the oldest language in the world during his speech.
Vasumathi’s suspension order also states that she will not be allowed to leave the headquarters without obtaining permission from the CEO.
The letter states: “Whereas a disciplinary proceeding against Ms R Vasumathi, Assistant Director (Programme), Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai, Director General; Doordarshan is contemplated.”