Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tharoor issues legal notice to Kairali TV and Deshabhimani

Dr Shashi Tharoor has decided to issue legal notice to Kairali TV and Deshabhimani that carried the news that he was a brand ambassador to a liquor company.  Here are the photo of Shabana Azmi and other Teacher's award winners.Below is the press release from his office. 
Tharoor issues legal notice to Kairali TV and Deshabhimani over misrepresentation of Ad on Award photo
Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP has demanded an unconditional and public apology by Kairali TV and Deshabhimani newspaper for carrying reports deliberately misrepresenting facts about an advertisement which appeared in a newsmagazine in connection with an achievement award bestowed on him.
 The legal notice issued by Dr. Tharoor through Advocate Vanchiyoor Parameshwaran Nair, former ASGI, mentions that unless an unconditional apology was given within two weeks, further action to file a suit for damages amounting to Rs. 10 crores would be taken. The legal notice points out that both Kairali TV and Deshabhimani newspaper were aware that the advertisement was only about Dr. Tharoor receiving an achievement award instituted as far back as in 2001 to honor people who have excelled in various fields and that these awards were given with the sole purpose of recognizing individual excellence and exemplary achievements in the field of Sports, Entertainment, Communication, Business and Lifetime Achievement as part of their social responsibility.
Dr. Tharoor was nominated for the award in the ‘Communication’ category which this year was devoted to authors. Dr. Tharoor is a widely published author, critic, columnist and commentator and was awarded the prize for 2010 in this category. Several other eminent personalities like  Shabana Azmi (Actor), Aditya Puri (MD, HDFC Bank), Aiswarya Rai Bachan (Actor), Boman Irani (Actor) and Pankaj Advani (Billiards Player) were honored with Lifetime Achievement Award, Achievement Award for Business, the People Magazine Award, the Achiever of the Decade for Entertainment and the Achievement Award for Sports, respectively.
Dr. Tharoor had never consented to be a brand ambassador for any company’s liquor brand nor had he modeled for any advertisement. The photograph published in the ad only showed him receiving the award at the function held earlier for the purpose where other awardees in various fields had been similarly honored.  Dr. Tharoor has not received any monetary benefits in connection with the award or anything connected to the company which gave the awards.  To state that he had modeled as a brand ambassador for the company or its products was a deliberate misrepresentation of facts with the ulterior motive of defaming him and sullying his public image. He had never been approached for such a purpose, nor had he been offered or accepted any consideration from the company to endorse their products.
When the above attempt to create an unwarranted controversy over the matter came to light Dr. Tharoor immediately wrote to the organizers of the award asking them to make sure that his photo, which was taken in the context of conferring of the award,  was not used for any other purpose, even for the purpose of honoring him as an awardee. This was necessary to clear the air and prevent interested parties who have cared not to stop even short of defaming totally innocent persons for narrow and selfish political gains.
The current controversy raised by a few over Dr. Tharoor's receiving the Teacher's award, portraying it is as an endorsement of liquor, reveals either ignorance on the background of the award or cheap political cynicism. None of the previous winners, who range from eminent sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and poet Gulzar, to ONGC CMD Subir Raha and ICICI Bank Chairperson K.V. Kamath, and respected sports persons like  badminton champion Saina Nehwal, would ever be accused of endorsing a liquor brand.
It should also be noted that this year's Teacher's Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Shabana Azmi, noted actor, social activist and former Rajya Sabha MP. She was also featured in a similar advertisement published to honor her achievement.
Eminent Indians formerly associated with the Teacher's Awards include Shyam Benegal (Film Maker), Vinod Mehta (Journalist), Gulzar (Poet & Lyricist), Karan Thapar (Journalist), Pritish Nandy (Journalist), Anupam Kher (Actor), Virendra Singh (Boxer), Saina Nahwal (Badminton Champion), Dipika Pallikal (Squash Player), Abhinav Bhindra (Olympic Medalist), Anu Agha (Industrialist), Chandra Kochar (ICICI Bank), Raj Kumar Hirani (Film Maker), KV Kamath (Chairman, ICICI Bank), Prasoon Joshi (Ad Man), Karan Johar (Film Maker), Subir Raha (CMD, ONGC), Anjali Bhagwat (Common Wealth Gold Medalist), Yogesh Chandra Deveshwar (Chairman, ITC), Jug Suraiya (Associate Editor, Times of India),  Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy (Musicians), Major Rajwardhan Rathode (Olymic Medalist), Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Musician), Naina Lal Kidwai (HSBC Bank), Mahesh Bhupathi (Tennis Player), Yash Chopra (Film Maker) and Jagjit Singh (Singer).
Hopefully sense will prevail and Kairali TV and Deshabhimani apologizes.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deshabhimani is found to be lacking basic journalistic principles. Recently they were found to be stealing pictures from blogs. Have a read http://craniumbolts.blogspot.com/2010/10/plagiarism-by-deshabhimani-daily.html

January 05, 2011 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Midhun Manmadhan said...

Ho ! Hats off to Deshabhimani & Kairali TV for such imaginative thinking ! I wonder what else will they come up with next.

January 09, 2011 5:15 AM  

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