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Sunday, February 01, 2009

NDTV and Barkha Dutt, it sucks to be you!

That's right, I'm joining the bandwagon of bloggers speaking up against NDTV and Barkha Dutt's recent misbehaviour and misdemeanour.

Wait, this is the press right? And she is a journalist, right? Someone please send them a howler or whatever it takes to remind them of that basic tenet of journalism.

Opinion is free, facts are sacred.

Please note, opinion. It's a free country. Everyone is allowed an opinion. And the fundamental right to the freedom of speech and expression. The press meantime, is expected to do their duty and present facts for the edification of the general public and not indulge in colouring up their reporting in whatever hues they wish. Expecting the public to simply swallow whatever is thrown their way and not speak up when they think something isn't right is stupidity.

Incidentally, did you know there is a facebook group called "Can u please take BARKHA off air!"? So what are you going to do next? Sue all 100 odd members?

I can't express myself as well as Chandni, MM, or Amrutha Upendran have, all I'm going to say is that is doesn't matter who is doing it, a big corporate giant and a well-known journalist (?) who react as they have done, are still akin to bullies on the playground and while they may have the sympathy of the higher authorities for a while, it won't last. The playground won't be so cosy anymore when the rest of the kids get fed up and push you out.

I'm standing up for myself and my right to the freedom of speech as a law-abiding citizen who expects a few basic rights in exchange for paying taxes and keeping the country going, by displaying this badge I borrowed from Sunayana Roy.

Edited to add: The badge is courtesy MayG actually. Thank you MayG and Sunayana.


  1. i doubt they'd sue us indians. they seem to be well aware of our court processes and the time THAT case would take!

    p.s.: i'm a member of that group on FB btw! :D

  2. i totally disagree..
    stop this hate campaign against barkha..
    agree she is sometimes insensitive, but she's done a good job otherwise for years..

  3. Rayshma: Just goes to show how ridiculous the whole incident has been.

    Ashish: There isn't a 'hate campaign' to begin with, it's a bunch of people voicing their opinion, just as you voiced your opinion. This goes beyond being 'insensitivie' though.

  4. good thing you did! just spread the word around. We all believe in freedom of speech :)

  5. Interestingly, had an article in December about criticism of media. The article quoted Chaitanya Kunte's post, which Barkha Dutt called "utter and total rubbish" a month later.

  6. La Vida Loca5:07 PM

    Hmmph I used to like watching NDTV.
    I dont think this is a hate campaign - I was uninvolved/ uncaring until a few days ago-- what they did was wrong plain and simple. Maybe there are haters but I think most ppl are opposed to the action not the person.

  7. Finally de-lurking to comment! :P
    Have been a lurker here for ages now and I have enjoyed reading your posts...

    Yes, freedom of speech is extremely important.. but its scary, these people are rich, important and carry a lot of clout... we ordinary folks don't have much of a choice when it comes to stnading up to people like her at times..

  8. MayG: Thanks MayG! and welcome!

    Amey: Link, please? Were they quoting that blog post as an example or rubbishing it? Barkha Dutt wrote this huge ass explanation of her actions if I remember right and it was so lengthy that I doubt she managed to get across to anyone at all. They just keep going around in circles, it looks like.

    La Vida Loca: Oh I haven't watched TV for a long time... it's easier for me to glean what I have to by reading than having to sift through all the crap on TV. And yes, people are opposed to the action ... wish that were clear to others who are going up in smoke supporting Barkha Dutt.

    Pixie: Hey hey hey! Welcome here. I've a confession, I've been lurking at yours for a while too :) I know what you mean when you say it's scary but the thing is these people are aiming at exactly that. Silencing dissenting voices by using fear as a weapon. It's just not right and I think if done right, one need not be scared of speaking up against something wrong. Thanks for dropping by, it's always a privilege to have new audience :)

  9. Oh, it was a quote, and not as "look what some stupid person wrote". The google cache article is: (they have now deleted the original article from website)

  10. I love how vocal everyone is getting about it. Never liked NDTV or Barkha. I think her justification only serves one purpose. It comforts her.

  11. DD, I love this theme of yours. I mean the background. Did you design it?

    As for Freedom of speech, most of us have written about it and signed a petition too but I don't see media picking up on it. I wonder why they are silent. May be when it is one of them they stand united.

  12. Amey: Thanks!! I seem to be missing something here though. Why is it that he was quoted tobegin with? Does he happen to be particularly well known in blogging cirlces?

    Vinod Desai: Agree with you there. She also seems to take unfair advantage of her exalted position.

    Solilo: Hey there! Welcome :) I wish I could take credit for the design but it's not an original, I happened to find it on blogger template website. It's called Agenda-04 or something.

    I think the trouble with this incident is that though so many people seem to be speaking up, most of them are bloggers and blogging isn't something that is as prevalent as say the newspaper or TV ... also it's not mass media so it's hard to reach a sizeable audience. And besides, to me it looks like while the thinking population already has reached a verdict on this, some part of the aware public simply does not care. And since it's an issue whose core is blogsphere, it's not noticed by the non-blogger (including avid readers but non-writers) population. The issue gets lost in the other news items that are reported. It's a bit sad, but in a country where there is such diversity of backgrounds, education, thinking, lifestyles, economic standing... it's simply not an issue which tugs at everybody.

  13. Hey, you're welcome. The badge is for everybody's use.

  14. Anonymous4:49 AM

    During the Mumbai Carnage the way the news editors gave the graphic details of the commondo deployment makes me feel that there are few news channels & news editors in India who are on the pay list of Pakistan's ISI. That is the reason they are so sympathaitic to terrorists. Everybody knows which channels I'm talking about.

  15. It also sucks to be lurking around for so long!
    Have always enjoyed reading your posts...keep them coming :)

  16. Anon: You know... there is something in that... I always thought the problem in India is from people within rather than from outsiders.

    Thought Bubbles: Thank you!!! Glad you delurked, welcome here :)

  17. hey DDD
    i guess you'll have to do a piece for those who came late (was out of touch with TV)

    i read Dutt's article(went frm ur post to chandu's to that article) cudn't find anything wrong what. wot did i miss....?

  18. FG!!! You're back!! It's so good to see you... welcome welcome :) The story basically was that NDTV and Barkha Dutt sued some hapless blogger based in the netherlands because he dared criticise their reporting during the Mumbai Terror Attacks. Considering how several other people, load of them well-known, had done the same, it was a rather daft thing to do, suing him as they did. Totally went against the right to freedom of speech and expression as set out by the constitution.

  19. oic. suing was going too far. thnx for the update :)

    btw i wanted the template that ur using :( but somehow it dint upload. when i saw urs i said accha hi hua. :). i love it btw

  20. Oh yeah it was rather ridiculous!

    Glad you like the template! It is rather nice na :) You could try downloading it and using it again... might work, I wouldn't mind having the same template as you!

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