Journalists’ Forum, Assam has condemned the attitude of Himanta Biswa Sharma, the State health minister and the spokesman of Assam government, to malign the image of the media persons in Assam and asked him to identify the journalist, who had (as claimed by the minister himself) submitted the mobile call list of an individual to the minister (Sharma). The forum expressed anguish that the particular journalist (who supplied the call list of Hiranya Saikia to Sharma) has compromised all values of journalism to take such a shameful act. He or she must be condemned in the strongest words. Mentionable that Sharma addressed a press meet in Guwahati on April 11, which was telecast live by News Live (a Guwahati based satellite channel), and disclosed that he received a call list of Hiranya Saikia (a PCG member) from a journalist friend (to justify his political debate). It is shocking that, a journalist can go for collecting someone’s call list, which is illegal in India, and even submit it to a minister ignoring the ethics of the profession.
And even if, for the sack of argument, the call list was collected by the minister from a competent authority with legal formalities, the forum demands a public apology from Sharma, as he tried his best to defame the integrity of the journalists. A minister must not consider the media persons as his slaves, who may be used according to his choice. After all, a responsible minister like Sharma should behave with responsibilities and maintain minimum honour to the media.