Following Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, the latest to offer a defence of his conversation with Nira Radia is Prabhu Chawla. Here is what he wrote on November 23:
"Much has been made about a conversation that Nira Radia had with me. This is just to put the record straight. The 13 minute conversation had nothing to do with the controversial 2G of A Raja. Nira called me as she said “to seek my expertise” on the Battle for Gas” between the two Ambani brothers. I merely told her that the earlier the brothers put an end to their private battle, the better it will be for the public good. I did not take sides........It is proof, if indeed proof were needed, that I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. " Read his full blogpost Here.
Here's my response to Mr. Prabhu Chawla:
Firstly, I have not yet come across any media, electronic, print or online, accusing you of any "guilt" in these conversations. Then why this defence? Why this attempt to show you are "innocent" of any wrong doing?
You were at least one person to admit that these tapes are genuine in your "Ask Prabhu" feature on your group site (Read Here) And then you went on to state these were obtained "illegally"! Really? I would request you to substantiate your charge that these were obtained illegally. In other terms, are you suggesting that the magazine that exposed the tapes had "sources" that were illegal, unlike the "legal" journalistic sources that Barkha, Sanghvi and you maybe indulging?
You are a very senior and respected journalist. But if someone completely unaware of the background of the whole story were to be shown the transcript of your conversation with Radia, who do you think would be perceived to be the journalist? You or Nira Radia? In all honesty, in response to her clever line of probing you appear to be the one singing like a canary with delicate juice on the Ambani brothers. Is that how journalists do business? Who's doing the "Seedhi Baat" here? And were you completely unaware that this person is a corporate and political lobbyist that would make anyone cautious about what they say to her? Especially a senior journalist of some standing.Were you completely unaware of the overall nature of Radia's portfolio of work and assignments?
No one accused you of any guilt, Mr. Chawla. However, since you have offered a defence, the above are the real questions you need to answer. Will you? It doesn't cross the minds of the journalists involved in this story that it's not Radia who appears to be the "journalistic source" in all the transcripts. It is, unfortunately, the journalists who appear to be a "source" for a lobbyist's designs. Is that so hard to see?