An open letter from a Hindu ‘troll’ to Barkha Dutt

Dear Barkhaji,

Sadar Pranam,

We hope your new venture, ‘Mojo’, with Noman Siddiqui – your partner, associate, paid servant, or whatever – is working as per whatever plan you have made.  As an aside, please do tell the world what exactly is the role of Nomanji in your venture.  There is nothing wrong in him being your partner as the number two person.  After all, you two have identical ideological inclination, and, hence, the working relationship would be quite harmonious.

Recently there seems to be a sort of hysterical campaign to portray that you, and other women activists with a left ideological bias, are being trolled by the Hindu Right as part of a sustained programme.  Some are also saying that these trolls are a paid army of the BJP in general, and Narendra Modi in particular.

In the context of the above mentioned campaign, you put out the following tweet:

barkha dutt (@BDUTT) tweeted at 5:15 PM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
Such an important campaign. Thank you @ghoshworld @shammybaweja  @httweets and Hey Trolls, we are here to slay you. #LetsTalkAboutTrolls https://t.co/MHwthA0TA9

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853574992776134656?s=03)

We, variously called Internet Hindus, bhakts, trolls, etc., will accept your challenge. But we will not slay you – we will make you completely irrelevant to the needs of the society, and will destroy whatever little credibility you still have left. In the process, the bold and the beautiful of Lutyen’s Delhi will no longer invite you to events like the ones as described by Gurcharan Das: “attractive events, where elegantly dressed, articulate Indians mix with a sprinkling of foreigners.” (more on this below); or international events that supposedly discuss issues relating to misogyny, but where you use the platform to bad mouth our country in general and Hindus in particular. This banishment will be a worse punishment than death.

Playing victim

But, before we talk about our battle plans, we would like to jog your memory and ask you to recollect your interview with Smriti Irani, when she was the HRD minister, where you also sort of complained about women being trolled in a misogynist way.

Your conversation went as follows:

NDTV: But do you defend the kind of toxicity that you see on twitter?

Smriti Irani: I owe them. Am I not at the receiving end of toxicity?

NDTV: We all are in different ways, right?

Smriti Irani: I don’t cry victim then.

NDTV: Nobody does.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/union-minister-smriti-irani-speaks-to-barkha-dutt-full-transcript-1247963

The wry amusement on Smritiji’s face about your last two words can only be described as priceless.

In this respect, you should also read another conversation that your colleague in journalism, Sagarika Ghose had with Irani:

Sagarika Ghose: Do you feel that you get more flak than other ministers because you are a woman?

Smrit Irani: I don’t use my gender as a crutch. If somebody dislikes me because I am a woman, that’s their problem not mine.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Smriti-Irani-Am-I-taking-on-Rahul-or-is-he-taking-me-on/articleshow/47322240.cms

This is why we trolls like Irani – she is such a sane person wanting to do something positive instead of whining.  And, despite attempts by you to try and get her to badmouth her support base, she stands rock solid in her support of them.  And this is why you have this intense dislike for Irani.

The Hindu sanskars

In the battle you have inflicted on us, we will deal with you not as a person but as representing a group of people who have the same ideological agenda as you, and use the same tactics as you.  We will conduct our battle in terms of our Hindu civilization, based on our sanskars.  When Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Mohammed Ghori, the former let the latter go back alive to his homeland.  There are many in the Hindu Right who criticized Prithviraj for the immense, but also misplaced, magnanimity that he showed.  We think the thought of doing something different would never have occurred to him.  He was brought up in a sanskar which looked at the vanquished as no longer an enemy but as another human being.

At the same time, we are also imbibed in the methods that Chattrapati Shivaji followed when he dealt with his enemies and the enemies of Hindu Dharma.  When Afzal Khan pretended to want to have peace talks with him, and requested for a meeting with neither side bearing any arms, Shivaji did not fall for the ruse that Afzal Khan will follow Hindu sanskars and not the ones he was brought up in.

We will defeat you, but we will not slay you, just as Prithviraj Chauhan did not slay Mohammed Ghori.  At the same time, we will not put our guard down in case you follow the tactics of deception. Our aim is that you should vacate the intellectual space that you are today occupying without any merit. We want you to stop the damage that you have been doing to our nation so far.

We want you to stop making further parasitical earnings that you have done so far.  We want you to retire and go anywhere you want where you cannot do any further damage to our nation. You can live off the earnings that you have made so far – we will not concern ourselves whether these earnings are legitimate or not.  We just want you to go away.  We want to devote our energies to positive actions for the future.

Our battle plan

We will tell you what our battle plans are.  In giving space to carry on your evil agenda, it is not only you who is responsible, but all those who are paying you directly or indirectly.  We will approach the ones we know and inform them about your agenda.  We will do so on the basis of irrefutable evidence, and not on the basis of manufacturing data that you are such an expert at, in pushing your agenda forward. We will expose the company you keep, as well as those enemies of our nation who praise you and your work.

For example, we will approach The Washington Post and inform them that they are giving space to write about the happenings in Bharat to a person who has great antipathy to the nation as well as to the civilization and culture.  We will tell them that they are doing a great disservice to their readers in the process.  We will also tell them that they are still free to continue to give you space, but then they should be prepared from a reaction from the readers. We will ask them to studiously read the comments on your articles, as well as the tweets where you announce your articles.  We want them to know what the people of Bharat think of your articles.

Your new venture

Recently, in announcing your new venture, ‘Mojo’, you had tweeted:

“Our just-born child. A multi media content & events company. We’ll update you on our evolution as we grow. Wish us luck! With @nomansiddiqui”

12:39 PM – 15 Apr 2017

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853332078137683968)

In including the name of one person, it was clear that he was the second most important in your new venture. If you had thought that the Internet Hindus would not try and find the background of the person, you have clearly shown that you live in a world of delusion.  At the same time, you want the world to believe that you were blissfully unaware of the background of the person.

While one of the Internet Hindus, Ishant Sharma (@CrimeMasterV2) did take you on consistently, and tied you up in all sorts of knots, there was another person, before him, with whom you did have a very, very brief conversation.

Reaction by ‘Real Truth Matters’

Please see the following tweets:

Real Truth Matters (@originaltruth1) tweeted at 4:42 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
Congratulations. Hope to see ‘objective’ journalism. But one quick look @nomansiddiqui shattered my hopes!! 🙁

(https://twitter.com/originaltruth1/status/853385663814750210?s=03)

barkha dutt (@BDUTT) tweeted at 4:43 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
What pray do u mean

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853385946447855620?s=03)

Real Truth Matters (@originaltruth1) tweeted at 8:54 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
His twitter feed shows a serious bias and denial mindset. A red flag for ‘objective’ journalism. Oh well, congrats and good luck.

(https://twitter.com/originaltruth1/status/853449093628166144?s=03)

Real Truth Matters is not a frequent player on social media.  In the sixteen months he/she has been on Twitter, the handle has posted 296 tweets, for an average of 0.6 tweets per day. It follows 15 people, and has 5 followers. The person seems to have done due diligence about your associate, and felt shattered.  You reacted to the first tweet of Real Truth Matters within one minute of its posting, and seem (or at least pretended to seem) not to know the background of your associate, who Real Truth Matters thought was seriously biased and had a denialist mindset.

We do not think that it took much effort on part of Real Truth Matters to find out the background of Siddiqui, whose tweets reek of bias and denialism.  If you expect the people to believe that you were not aware of it, you continue to have contempt for the intelligence of the people at large, and not just the trolls.  At the very start of your venture, you have made your bias very clear.  Do expect to be trolled – and not because of the picture on your twitter handle.  (Incidentally, the picture is a few months old, and we have been trolling you for a long time before that – even before your attempt to ‘form’ the cabinet in UPA-2 with the help of Neera Radia.)

Reaction by @CrimeMasterV2

It is important to realize that the first tweet of Ishant Sharma @CrimeMasterV2 (“@bdutt started a new venture with a guy who compared Modi with Afzal Guru and wanted Modi to be hanged like Afzal Guru. Surprised anyone?”) was timed at 6:49 AM – 16 Apr 2017.  That is, two hours AFTER the first tweet by Real Truth Matters. Thus, you should have realized that the ideological bias of Siddiqui would have been known to you before your conversation with @CrimeMasterV2.  While Real Truth Matters decided to let it go, sort of, and you thought you could ignore it, hoping no one else will know, the serious trolls are not that forgiving.

To explain to you how we will expose your integrity, we will use the following conversation you had with @CrimeMasterV2 (your’s, i.e. Barkha Dutt’s, tweets are highlighted in blue):

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

@bdutt started a new venture with a guy who compared Modi with Afzal Guru and wanted Modi to be hanged like Afzal Guru. Surprised anyone?

URL:  https://twitter.com/CrimeMasterV2/status/853606281776553984?s=03

6:49 AM – 16 Apr 2017

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

thehindu.com/news/national/ … ‘ He spoke of universal brotherhood & oneness of the mankind’ #Afzal which #NarendraModi to does.. why not hang him too?

8:40 PM – 11 Feb 2013

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2 @BDUTT

[email protected]’s business partner called Modi mass murderer n compared him with Gaddafi too. Thanks for removing the veil of neutrality Barkha!!

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

@NoteNaMo India will join d league of cntries whch r ruled by murderers, assasinators lyk d Gaddafi’s n d George Bush’s if #Modi becums d PM

12:14 AM – 4 Mar 2013

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

#ironical Modi explains how imprtnt a mthr is in our society..he is d same man who killed hundreds of mothers in 2002.. #WahReRajneeti

12:04 PM – 8 Apr 2013

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

For the record @nomansiddiqui is not my business partner and he has apologise for his poor choice of words five years ago.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

For the record I haven’t seen any record of @nomansiddiqui apologising. He has protected his account. Plz share the apology with everyone.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Also, you have vehemently denied that he wanted Modi to be hanged and defended him. What has he apologised for? Were you lying earlier?

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

You must have a lot of time to go through articles & tweets from four years ago. However am sure thats not what he meant or would say at all

4:23 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Your partner shared an article about Guru’s hanging and said “why not hang Modi too?” Very brave of you to try to spin it!!!

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Have u heard abt tweeter search API? It hardly took few seconds to find ‘hang Modi’ tweet by ur partner. I am not as jobless as u think 🙂

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

Nopes not aware of API. But I am surprised at your deep interest in me. And like I said I cannot imagine he meant anything like this

4:42 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

I have now repeated four times that I am sure that is not what he meant- but i certainlt dont delve into years of tweets like you do?

4:52 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

No he says he did not mean any such thing in his tweets but his words were ill chosen . See his tweets.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

As I said earlier, his hatred is in black n white. No one has seen his apology 5 years ago. Brave of u to defend him

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

I am not defending his old tweets language at all. I don’t agree with them and nor does he. He has apologized.

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

As far as I can see the is a Hindu article? Why attribute it to someone else?

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Please read his tweet again. Your partner wanted Modi to be hanged not the article. Link to the article

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

His hatred is in black and white. No grey area for you to say “I am sure that is not what he meant” Read again.

————————————

@CrimeMasterV2 is a more serious Internet Hindu activist than Real Truth Matters. So, he would not let go easily. You should realize the deep bench strength of the Internet Hindu army, if you see the comments that have been posted on your time line, as well as those of the Internet Hindus like @CrimeMasterV2.

Brazenness

We will also point out an effort that you made in trying to give a spin when the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, used a derogatory term to describe the then Prime Minister of Bharat, Manmohan Singh.

This article gives a detailed narration of what happened at the time.  We think you came out very badly in terms of journalistic integrity.  What is more, you were not willing to stand up for a person, namely Manmohan ji, for whom you otherwise professed to have empathy.  We do feel disgusted at the lengths you will go to push your personal agenda.  You wanted to put the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Shariff, in a favourable light.

You made a brazen attempt to wriggle out of a horrible situation of your own making in the case of the Dehati Aurat incident that we have narrated in the article referred to above. Just as you did in the case when you were caught helping Nira Radia, when the latter was making attempts to fix allocation of cabinet portfolios in UPA-2. If, for example, The Washington Post thinks that such brazenness is indeed a required qualification to employ someone as a columnist for their publication, we really wish the publication well.

In your defense of Siddiqui, you seem to be disturbed about the choice of words and not the intent and the content.  So, would it have been more acceptable for you if he had said ‘let Modi swing at the end of a rope’ or ‘he cut short the lives of hundreds of mothers’?  Brazenness does have limits. But then if you were to follow these limits, you know you would not be able to slay us.

Your programme viewership

One of the points that we will point out when we approach those who pay you is that you really have had an abysmally low viewership while you were with NDTV. The information provided by Broadcasting Audience Research Council shows that the viewership of your erstwhile channel is around 200,000.  We do not think that the geographical spread would be much beyond Lutyen’s Delhi, and the sort of crowd that Gurcharan Das set out in a recent article of his.

Das wrote:

“A few months ago, I was at an attractive event in Delhi, surrounded by elegantly dressed, articulate Indians and a sprinkling of foreigners. Into this privileged gathering walked an awkward young man who someone recognized from Hindi television. He seemed to be lost and was mostly ignored until someone provoked him and there followed a loud, ugly argument over the JNU controversy. He put up a spirited defence of the Hindu nationalist position but he was quickly shouted down. He felt humiliated and left hurriedly. Once he was gone, the ‘secular-liberal’ gathering relaxed, but not before heaping condescension on this ‘low life’ with his ‘crazy ideas.’”

Your audience thinks that being elegantly dressed and articulate (in English) is sufficient to establish their allegedly liberal characteristics. And one of these characteristics is shouting down anyone who does not conform to their view point, and feeling no remorse in defining such a person as a ‘low life’ with ‘crazy ideas’.

You live in an echo chamber with your audience, an echo chamber that is rapidly shrinking. And this is a threat to you, personally, since it will stop the money flow that enables you to live your life style. And so, you have to fight back by slaying us.

Among this audience, half of it would be those with your ideological base. Of the rest, half would be those who are ideologically opposed to you, and want to keep track of what you are saying so that they can have their response ready. And, of the rest, many would probably view your programmes as a sort of entertainment.

In the format of your new venture, one has to wonder if the viewership of your programme would be even 25% of what you had when you were with NDTV.

Financing

Then there is the question of financing your venture. We all know the financial mess in NDTV, and that they have had to resort to sources of money that smell of dubiousness to the extreme. We believe that there are serious investigations being made by the tax authorities on many of the transactions.

From a leaked email of yours by hacker group ‘Legion’, you do seem to have quite a bit of personal financial assets – the figure in the bank statement that was part of one of the leaked emails showed that your cash balance was Rs 7 crores.  It goes without saying that this would not be your only financial asset – you would have other bank accounts, monies in fixed deposits and stock market, residences, etc.  As we said earlier, you do have a nice balance to retired quite comfortably for the rest of your life.

Perhaps you are using this financial nest to fund your venture, and there is no outside source. We hope you have had good financial advice, and that you do not burn your bank balances at an alarming rate.  We do not have any knowledge of the industry norms of your new venture, but caution would be quite advisable. Also, if your audience is what we have speculated above, we hope the advertisers on the shows that you propose to broadcast do get value for money.

Conclusion

As part of our battle plan, we will be interacting with your advertisers as well, to inquire whether they know the reach of your programmes. If they are commercial products, we think that the managers of the companies have a duty towards their shareholders that they spend the money wisely.

We will also monitor the content of your programmes.  Your first guest on the new show was Karan Johar. Our first thought was exactly what new thing he had to say, given the number of times he has already appeared in the past few months, on so many different channels. Are there really so few interesting people in our country that the same person has to be repeated so many times? Perhaps the really serious ones did not find it worthwhile to be on your new programme.

You know you are losing the battle.  We know you know that you are losing the battle. We now want to come to the stage where you know that we know that you know that you are losing the battle.

The battle has truly begun, and we hope you have as much fun as we know we will have.

(Featured Image Credit: Hindustan Times)


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About the Author

Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.
  • Srikant Mahapatra

    There is no point explaining the details to some one whose IQ is low and the mind is blocked. So it is better not to waste time and energy for an ordinary journalist. You cannot explain rational thinking to such person.

  • GURBAKSHISH SINGH MANN

    VHP,RSS,BAHRANG DAL,HINDU YUVA VAHINI ALL ARE GOONS. Taught to talk nonsense.

  • Tushar

    If Musharraf and Hafiz sayed openly praise Barkha, expose where her funding is coming from, then take actions accordingly keeping India’s interests in mind irrespective of caste, Creed, color, religion, dalit, upper caste, this that nonsense …. whats the use of unecessary emotional rabble rousing with zero action on the ground , understand the motivation for certain actions and take counter action in countryz favour

  • Mâññâyâdâv küshwâhâ

    I always found her to be a lady pappu of journalism, she never has “intelligent” counters, her replies are like some chawl wali Bai. Got awards for licking italian sandals. Now she is on roads..
    NDTV threw her out, quint was a failed venture, this third one with a pervert flopped even before the baby could roll.

    She lacks basic intelligence, unaware of how social media works… Twitteraties are much ahead of her…

    I have seen her polluting the minds of vegetable vendors, rickshawalas, autowalas, panwalas, people in crematorium… Against Mr. Modi..But common people are more sensible, I think every child and the grown up knows that she works for pakistan.

    Let her come, we are ready to give her back..
    Will definitely show her her real aukaat

  • this was written in 2012. exposing gang of 3 screaming trolls trolls http://ioretradingindia.blogspot.in/2012/06/internet-hindus-culprits-or-victims.html