An article titled “Why Barkha Dutt is so angry?” with the subtitle “Barkha Dutt’s Facebook post – Rant/ Tirade or Diatribe?”, available at: https://www.pgurus.com/why-barkha-dutt-is-so-angry/ and dated June 28, 2017, carries the Facebook post of Barkha Dutt, dated June 26. It goes as follows:
“In recent days I have watched the self righteous outbursts of some I have known professionally and worked with in the media for many years with part amusement, but mostly utter shock- can these people really NOT see through their own humbug and hypocrisy; can they not recall their past actions and statements; can those who didn’t have ONE good word to say about the other till one month ago now pretend to be bonded by ‘friendship’ and ‘principle’?!! I recall conversations with some of these people and how they would run down and bitch out the same folk they are now holding up as exemplary. I also recall moments where principles were actually involved and all these self righteous warriors were more than supplicant, because it was the ‘practical’ thing to do or because they didnt dare to speak up against their newsroom bosses or authority figures!!
I have personally fought against the axing of interviews & stories ( and been ‘punished’ for it by these same people ) and can testify that not ONE of those today proclaiming to stand for anti-establishment free press even OPENED THEIR MOUTHS! It’s really amusing to see the complete lack of self awareness in these people. The one thing I can’t stand in people in fakeness. Done with frauds and their cherry picked ‘positions’. Done with socially pretending to be friendly with those who don’t add value and meaning to my life and those whom I see as hypocrites. New beginnings today, and my friends, you know who you are. (Emphasis in the original.)
Love to you for staying real in the city of djinns and shadows and so much bark without bite . Actually I can deal with bigots much better than fake liberals. With the former you know what you have and what your battle needs to be. As for the latter, they are just so busy feeling superior in their echo chambers, no matter if each one of them would compromise ( and has) if that were the ‘practical’ thing to do or if it “paid their bills” (and I know for a fact that such compromise attempts have been on for many years and still are, while overtly the preaching and hectoring carries on publicly!) ! These fake liberals of our media world – and their disingenuous anger is like the secularism of the Congress- bent and abandoned when needed, clutched on to when convenient- I am so done with these frauds and their fulminations. They are welcome to stew in their own humbug! Whatever this noise is – its not about Free Press principles. I wish it were, but it so totally aint.”
As a member of the Hindutva Troll Army, I find the first paragraph to be very, very strange. First she seems to have said that people who were sort of daggers drawn until ONE MONTH AGO are today seeming to be the best of friends. Now, unless she tells the names concerned, I think only a very small number of people, and that too based in Lutyen’s Delhi, would know who she is talking about. More importantly, it tells a lot about those in the English mainstream media (I presume that Barkhaji is talking about both print and electronic).
Second, she talks about not speaking against the newsroom bosses or authority figures. It would be interesting to know if this fear has come to be since May 2014, when the present dispensation is in political power in New Delhi. The fact that she is not explicit, and given my own biases, I would say that the fear has a long history.
In the second para she says that she has fought against axing of interviews and stories. Again, it would be interesting to know if this too is a post-May 2014 phenomenon.
In any case, the only interview that I know that was axed was the one by Barkha Dutt of P Chidambaram which was to have been broadcast on October 6, 2016, on NDTV. It did receive some media comment at the time, with The Wire doing two articles on it, and The Indian Express. I do not know if there were any other articles on the subject. But the whole episode quickly died down.
The channel carried promotional clips of the interview throughout the day, almost right up till the time of the broadcast, before the interview was pulled. It seems that very late in the day, NDTV found that the interview seriously fouled an important part of their guideline, namely: “On matters of wild and unsubstantiated allegations, of which there is no shortage today in the country’s politics, we will not report them without the accuser offering proof that has been verified by us and found to be news-worthy.”
Specifically, Radha Roy, a co-promoter of NDTV, and the wife of another co-promoter, Pranoy Roy, said to The Wire: “We do not believe that we are obliged to carry every shred of drivel that has now come to pass as public discourse.” Incidentally, Radhaji is the sister of a very senior member of the Communist Party (Marxist), Brinda Karat, who is the wife of another very senior member of the same party, Prakash Karat. Given this pedigree, the words used by NDTV are harsh indeed, and is really a very poor reflection on the one who conducted the interview, namely Barkha Dutt.
It is strange that Dutt did not resign from NDTV immediately, but waited for three months to do so. It is my observation that during this period that Dutt conducted herself as if nothing had happened. In particular, she did not convey that she was even mildly upset with the decision to axe the interview.
Unless it has happened secretly, there is no other instance of NDTV axing any interview or article of anyone , let alone Dutt. So, perhaps Dutt can tell the nation of other instances, in the interest of freedom of speech, expression, or whatever. Moreover, why did Chidambaram not give an interview to The Wire, where Siddharth Vardarajan is the chief editorial person. Vardarjan, an American citizen and a hard-core Marxist, has a visceral hatred for the present government in general, and Narendra Modi in particular. This is a classic case of the Sherlock Holmes story about the strange behaviour of the dog because he did not bark when the crime had happened.
I had written about the happening in an article at:
As far as the third paragraph, we in the Hindutva Troll Army would love most of it, since she is almost parroting what we have been saying. One small detail. We have been saying that the same applies to her as well.
As of writing this article, it has been three days since the Facebook article was posted by Dutt. It is not at all strange that the group that she has made such damning comments about is pretending that it does not exist. In fact, it would be strange if they did. Either way they have dug themselves even more in the hole that they have made for themselves.
Did you like this article? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.