John Brittas is a Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, representing the Communist Party of India Marxist. A journalist of 30 years, he is managing director of Kairali TV and has previously served as the media advisor to Kerala’s chief minister.
In this interview with Tanishka Sodhi, Brittas talks about the growing disconnect between the news media and the parliament, whether frequent protests by MPs affect the parliament’s productivity, why journalists becoming apolitical is a problem.
“The parliament I used to cover as a journalist in the late ’80s and ’90s has undergone drastic changes,” he says. “It’s a pale shadow of the parliament that used to be there. If you look up to the galleries now, you’ll feel like mourning for the media. Hardly anyone is there. The very purpose of the fourth pillar is in question.”
“There was a perfect sync between the media and the parliament. Now, a mass disconnect has happened,” he adds.
Brittas also explains why he petitioned the Supreme Court for an inquiry into the Pegasus snooping scandal, his maiden Rajya Sabha speech about the lack of representation in the judiciary that caused a stir, and why he’s dissatisfied with some of the government’s answers to questions he raised in the parliament.