Prasar Bharati, it appears, has turned into a dumping ground of all those who cannot be rehabilitated anywhere else. Shashi Vempaty was involved in the 272+ campaign for Narendra Modi and that is what made him a part-time Member of the Prasar Bharati Board first. No one has seen him contributing an iota till date and the nosedive the Prasar Bharati Board witnessed since its new look takes away all hopes. One learns that his taking over as the new CEO has the stamp of Keshav Kunj that seals every other notion. A reason cited for Vempaty’s induction is the failure of the Chairman in creating a strong public broadcaster as desired by the Government.
Media professionals are now questioning the government’s commitment to Prasar Bharati. The present Chairman with his limited understanding of the medium was found wanting on many issues. The way he sunk DD Kisan and allegedly drained public funds calls for serious investigation. Questions have already been raised on his abilities for launching a new channel for the North East. The entire Board led by the Chairman are responsible for experimenting with public money. Furthermore, both the outgoing CEO and the Chairman have conducted official tours on frivolous grounds wasting lakhs of rupees while at the same time refusing to pay annual honorarium to staff members who continue to perform in such directionless circumstances citing financial crunch. More recently, the Board carried the entire management to Hyderabad for a dance recital by ABU despite the financial crunch. No wonder, one hears of many RTIs getting prepared and fresh legal battles seeking a refund of all frivolous expenditure.